Several successful measurement flights in icing conditions have already been achieved in April 2023 during the SENS4ICE European flight campaign (see our previous article here). The experimenters Safran, the French Aerospace Lab (ONERA), Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial «Esteban Terradas» (INTA) and German Aerospace Center (DLR) were able to successfully detect liquid water icing conditions of interest in real-time with novel ice detection technologies based on preliminary assessment that was conducted during and after the flights.
Performing natural icing measurement flights is an exceptionally complex undertaking with regard to experimental instruments, reference instrumentation, flight operations and meteorological support. Safire and ATR had supported the instrumentation and planning well in advance of the actual flight campaign. On a day-by-day basis Safire is providing significant and dedicated support with a large team including pilots, flight test engineers and ground support. A great flexibility is applied to adjust to requirements changing on short notice on an operational, technical and meteorological level, in order to enable for a smooth and effective flight campaign.
Identifying relevant meteorological conditions in space and time both in advance and during flights is of greatest importance and criticality. Valuable meteorological support for the campaign is provided by Météo France, DWD German Weather Service and Leading Edge Atmospherics (Ben Bernstein). On-site at the Safire premises Météo France is providing dedicated and excellent support on a daily basis with forecasts and in-flight meteorological input. This is extremely valuable for adjusting flight planning beforehand and flight routing in-flight and has allowed to find conditions of interest even for challenging weather situations.
The flight campaign will be continued until the end of April and the entire team is committed to complete additional measurements in liquid water icing conditions.