USAF, Battelle target UAS ice protection
The US Air Force (USAF) is exploring ice protection technology for UAS under a cooperative research and development agreement with Battelle Memorial Institute.
The technology is being sought to enhance operational performance for UAS in adverse weather conditions, such as light to moderate icing. The USAF is interested in affordable, lightweight, easily adaptable ice protection technology that contributes to enhanced performance and fewer aborted missions.
Battelle is currently in the final stages of developing an ice protection system that uses a carbon nanotube dispersant as a resistive heater for anti-ice/de-ice capability. Coupled with an autonomous, intelligent, closed-loop controller, the system provides a low size, weight, and power electrothermal solution.
Under this agreement Battelle will continue to test and validate its research and development efforts on test wings and engine air inlets from operational systems. The company will also leverage its collaboration with the air force for acquiring additional external funding through various proposals and grants.
Randy Johnson, Battelle’s program manager, said: ‘Access to government furnished equipment allowed Battelle to validate multiple modelling and simulation tests and [has] brought developments to the current integration stage on operational aircraft. This agreement will also allow the air force to provide us with detailed technical information required for the actual integration.’
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