Ice detection and classification on an aircraft wing with ultrasonic shear horizontal guided waves

Huidong Gao, Joseph L. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Ice accumulation on airfoils has been identified as a primary cause of many accidents in commercial and military aircraft. To improve aviation safety as well as reduce cost and environmental threats related to aircraft icing, sensitive, reliable, and aerodynamically compatible ice detection techniques are in great demand. Ultrasonic guided-wave-based techniques have been proved reliable for "go" and "no go" types of ice detection in some systems including the HALO system, in which the second author of this paper is a primary contributor. In this paper, we propose a new model that takes the ice layer into guided-wave modeling. Using this model, the thickness and type of ice formation can be determined from guided-wave signals. Five experimental schemes are also proposed in this paper based on some unique features identified from the guided- wave dispersion curves. A sample experiment is also presented in this paper, where a 1 mm thick glaze ice on a 2 mm aluminum plate is clearly detected. Quantitative match of the experiment data to theoretical prediction serves as a strong support for future implementation of other testing schemes proposed in this paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4787185
Pages (from-to)334-344
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE transactions on ultrasonics, ferroelectrics, and frequency control
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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