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Icing Branch
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The Icing Research Tunnel at NASA Glenn has been operational since World War II.


Severe icing encounter in NASA's icing research aircraft Technician examines model of a Blackhawk helicopter in the Icing Research Tunnel
Research Facilities
In order to accomplish the many, multi-disciplined tasks and goals of the Icing Branch, both air and ground-based facilities are required to research, test, and develop effective tools and products for icing detection and protection.

Icing Brnach ground and air facilities

Icing Research Tunnel

For ground-based research, the Icing Branch uses the capabilties of the Icing Research Tunnel (IRT), also located at NASA Glenn Research Center. The IRT is the world's largest refrigerated wind tunnel and has been ensuring flight safety for icing conditions since 1944. The IRT has played a substantial role in developing, testing, and certifying methods to prevent ice buildup on gas-turbine-powered aircraft. Work continues today in the investigation of low-power electromechanical deicing and anti-icing fluids for use on the ground, deicing and anti-icing research on STOVL rotor systems and certification of ice protection systems for military and commercial aircraft.

The IRT is a closed-loop, refrigerated wind tunnel with a 6x9 foot test section. It can generate airspeeds from 25 to over 400 miles per hour. Models placed in the tunnel can be subjected to droplet sprays of varying sizes to produce the effect most natural icing conditions. To learn more about the tunnel, please follow the link for the Icing Research Tunnel at NASA Glenn Research Center.

Icing Research Aircraft

For aerial research, the Icing Branch utilizes the capabilities of NASA 607, a DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft, located at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. This aircraft has undergone many modifications to provide both the branch and NASA a "flying laboratory" for issues relating to the study of aircraft icing. Some of the capabilities of this research aircraft include development of icing protection systems, full-scale iced aircraft aerodynamic studies, software code validation for ground-based research, development of remote weather sensing technologies, natural icing physics studies, and more.
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Related Facilities
Icing Research Tunnel
Find out more about one of NASA Glenn's busiest research facilities.
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Icing Research Aircraft
Find out more about one of NASA Glenn's DHC-6 Twin Otter icing research aircraft.
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Last Updated: February 14, 2013
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