The proposed Phase II SBIR objective is development of an Icing Hazard Management System for UAM class vehicles that incorporates fast response icing sensors and look-ahead LiDAR integrated with a low power rotor blade Anti-icing System. The proposed research supports NASA’s goal to develop weather hazard mitigation technologies necessary for integrating UAMs into the National Airspace System. “All Weather Capability” is considered essential today in business, commercial, and military aircraft. Aircraft designers are now looking for innovative low power deicing systems that can be used to increase mission requirements of next generation UAS such as commercial UAMs. What is needed is a viable ice protection and icing avoidance strategy that incorporates early icing detection and low power ice mitigation to allow the UAM to avoid or rapidly exit hazardous icing conditions.
IDI teamed with the Penn State University Atmospheric Icing Research Lab (AERTS) propose to develop a Low Power Anti-icing System specific for short range, short endurance UAM missions. The proposed approach will feature a fast response icing conditions sensor combined with a unique Rechargeable rotor-blade Anti-Icing System utilizing smart materials and embedded energy storage components. Unique to this design is the ability to wirelessly recharge the rotor de-ice system at electric vehicle docking stations using inductive coupling during scheduled UAM battery pack recharge cycles.
Proof of concept of a wireless UAM rotor blade anti-icing system was demonstrated during the Phase I Icing Tunnel trials as well as the evaluation of promising ice sensors. Phase II will integrate the anti-icing technology with a full scale UAM rotor system, as well as develop an interface to a fast icing detector and/or a forward looking 3D LiDAR. The Phase II Prototype will be demonstrated at the Penn State AERTS Rotor blade Icing Test Facility.
This proposal objectives in the NASA Technology Taxonomy: Air Traffic Management and Range tracking systems (TX16), Safety Technology for new vehicle concepts (TX16.1) and improved Weather/Hazard addresses detection awareness (TX16.2). The resulting system could be used to support various research programs investigating these technologies in the NASA Glenn Icing Tunnel and on NASA’s Icing Research Aircraft. Additionally it may also provide key technology to support various NASA initiatives in rotorcraft development such as the RVLT project.
The proposed Urban Aerial Mobility Vehicle Low Power Anti-Icing and Avoidance System can be applied on commercial Quad-Copter Propellers for flight into IMC conditions.. A wireless anti-icing system could be sold as a self-contained feature of next generation UAM propellers. The device’s low power and weight give it a significant market advantage over current technology propeller de-icing systems.