Whereas the preceding project focuses on using UAS to apply de-icing spray to commercial aircraft, this research applies to de-icing UAS themselves. Icing is a significant flight hazard for the operation of UAS in cold weather and an obvious deterrent to achieving long-term autonomous flight. Developing innovative, effective anti-/de-icing strategies for UAS requires a keen understanding of the underlying physics of icing for UAS.
LAUNCH students will participate in a comprehensive study to quantify the micro-physical processes (i.e., unsteady heat transfer, transient surface water runback, and dynamic ice accretion) pertinent to ice accretion on the wings and propellers of UAS. To identify promising icephobic coatings for these components, they will evaluate the effects of a number of bio-inspired slippery surface coatings on ice accretion, such as lotus leaf–inspired Super-Hydrophobic Surface and pitcher plant–inspired Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces.
Project Mentor: Dr. Hui Hu