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Characterization of Aircraft Icing Environments with Supercooled Large Drops for Application to Commercial Aircraft Certification

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  • 1 Cloud Physics and Severe Weather Research Section, Environment Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Abstract

Observations of aircraft icing environments that included supercooled large drops (SLD) greater than 100 μm in diameter have been analyzed. The observations were collected by instrumented research aircraft from 134 flights during six field programs in three different geographic regions of North America. The research aircraft were specifically instrumented to accurately measure the microphysics characteristics of SLD conditions. In total 2444 SLD icing environments were observed at 3-km resolution. Each observation had an average liquid water content (LWC) > 0.005 g m−3, drops > 100 μm in diameter, ice crystal concentrations <1 L−1, and an average static temperature ≤0°C. SLD conditions were observed approximately 5% of the in-flight time. The SLD observations were segregated into four subsets, which included conditions with maximum drop sizes <500 μm and >500 μm in diameter, each with median drop volume diameters <40 μm and >40 μm. For each SLD subset, the observations were used to develop envelopes of maximum LWC values as a function of horizontal extent and temperature. In addition, characteristic drop size distributions were developed for each SLD subset. The maximum LWC values physically represent either the 99% or 99.9% LWC values, as determined from an extreme value analysis of the data. The analysis is sufficient for simulation of SLD environments with either numerical icing accretion models or wind-tunnel icing simulations. The SLD envelopes are similar in structure and supplemental to existing aircraft icing envelopes, the difference being that the existing envelopes did not explicitly incorporate SLD conditions.

Corresponding author address: Stewart Cober, Cloud Physics and Severe Weather Research Section, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, 4905 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON M3H 5T4, Canada. E-mail: stewart.cober@ec.gc.ca

A comment/reply has been published regarding this article and can be found at http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JAMC-D-12-096.1 and http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JAMC-D-12-0213.1

Abstract

Observations of aircraft icing environments that included supercooled large drops (SLD) greater than 100 μm in diameter have been analyzed. The observations were collected by instrumented research aircraft from 134 flights during six field programs in three different geographic regions of North America. The research aircraft were specifically instrumented to accurately measure the microphysics characteristics of SLD conditions. In total 2444 SLD icing environments were observed at 3-km resolution. Each observation had an average liquid water content (LWC) > 0.005 g m−3, drops > 100 μm in diameter, ice crystal concentrations <1 L−1, and an average static temperature ≤0°C. SLD conditions were observed approximately 5% of the in-flight time. The SLD observations were segregated into four subsets, which included conditions with maximum drop sizes <500 μm and >500 μm in diameter, each with median drop volume diameters <40 μm and >40 μm. For each SLD subset, the observations were used to develop envelopes of maximum LWC values as a function of horizontal extent and temperature. In addition, characteristic drop size distributions were developed for each SLD subset. The maximum LWC values physically represent either the 99% or 99.9% LWC values, as determined from an extreme value analysis of the data. The analysis is sufficient for simulation of SLD environments with either numerical icing accretion models or wind-tunnel icing simulations. The SLD envelopes are similar in structure and supplemental to existing aircraft icing envelopes, the difference being that the existing envelopes did not explicitly incorporate SLD conditions.

Corresponding author address: Stewart Cober, Cloud Physics and Severe Weather Research Section, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, 4905 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON M3H 5T4, Canada. E-mail: stewart.cober@ec.gc.ca

A comment/reply has been published regarding this article and can be found at http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JAMC-D-12-096.1 and http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JAMC-D-12-0213.1

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