Aircraft wing de-icing using structural wave motion

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: Faculty of Engineering & the Environment


In-flight de-icing and anti-icing of aircraft wings is typically achieved by thermal means, either by bleeding hot air from the engines or through electrical heating, both of which are power consuming and limited in their applicability. The University of Southampton is collaborating with Ultra Electronics Ltd, who are the leading supplier of electrical ice protection systems, to develop a new low power technique based on structural acoustics. Dynamic actuators are used to generate waves in the wing structure so as to create large stresses at the wing-ice interface causing the ice to break off.
This project will focus on two aspects of further work:
(i) Implementing a coupled electromechanical model for an electrodynamic shaker connected to a beam-like structure, thereby assessing the influence of the shaker's dynamics on the efficacy of the approach.
(ii) Experimental characterisation of a real aircraft wing leading edge to inform an appropriate model for the structure, which can then be used to assess the effects of real structural geometry.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509747/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
2075830 Studentship EP/N509747/1 01/04/2018 30/06/2021 Davide Raffaele