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An Objective Method for Measuring Surface Ice Accretion

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  • 1 Air Force Geophysics Laboratory, Hanscom AFB, MA 01731
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Abstract

An off-the-shelf ice detection system used primarily on aircraft was tested in a climatic chamber, and then in the field to evaluate its ability to estimate the amount of ice simultaneously accreting on various-sized cylinders. The climatic chamber test data indicate that the system output is highly correlated with the mass and thickness of the ice measured on cylinders. A method, developed for utilizing the system for objectively estimating ice accretion amounts on cylinders, based on the chamber test results, is presented. Subsequent field tests indicate the system would be excellent for objectively estimating icing amounts on a cylinder for in-cloud icing on mountaintops. A slight modification is necessary to best use the instrument to estimate icing amounts from freezing rain or drizzle. Relationships of ice accretion characteristics on cylinders 3, 13, 25 and 50 mm in diameter for differing synoptic conditions are also discussed.

Abstract

An off-the-shelf ice detection system used primarily on aircraft was tested in a climatic chamber, and then in the field to evaluate its ability to estimate the amount of ice simultaneously accreting on various-sized cylinders. The climatic chamber test data indicate that the system output is highly correlated with the mass and thickness of the ice measured on cylinders. A method, developed for utilizing the system for objectively estimating ice accretion amounts on cylinders, based on the chamber test results, is presented. Subsequent field tests indicate the system would be excellent for objectively estimating icing amounts on a cylinder for in-cloud icing on mountaintops. A slight modification is necessary to best use the instrument to estimate icing amounts from freezing rain or drizzle. Relationships of ice accretion characteristics on cylinders 3, 13, 25 and 50 mm in diameter for differing synoptic conditions are also discussed.

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