Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New research helps protect airplane engines from drizzle --system to be tested at DIA this winter

28.10.2004


Halloween weather has tricked, not treated, airport meteorologists the past two years in Denver. Heavy freezing drizzle--appearing to be harmless light drizzle--has cost airlines as much as $2 million in engine damage in a single storm as jets have waited for takeoff. Now Roy Rasmussen of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has developed a new system to identify the drizzle accurately. His research has enabled airlines to revise pilot training and on-ground procedures to avoid future damage. The new detection system will be installed this winter at Denver International Airport (DIA).



Rasmussen studied two cases of heavy freezing drizzle at DIA on October 31, 2002, and the same date in 2003. The two storms wreaked a total of $2.85 million in damage to 18 jet engines on United Airlines 737 aircraft. Trained meteorologists were on site throughout both events, but the freezing drizzle conditions were not accurately noted. In about half of all cases of freezing drizzle, the intensity is underreported, according to Rasmussen. "Freezing drizzle is hard to see and its intensity is hard to estimate visually," says Rasmussen. "Often it goes undetected because the droplets are so small." The typical droplet diameter is about half of a millimeter, or half the thickness of a compact disk.

Rasmussen has worked with United Airlines to alert pilots of 737 aircraft on the hazard, and the airline has changed its procedures as a result of his research. Formerly, if an airport meteorologist observed heavy freezing drizzle, engines were revved close to flying speed (called an engine run-up) every 30 minutes to throw off ice. "Now, if anyone says ’freezing drizzle,’ they do engine run-ups every ten minutes," says Rasmussen. "Airline people are sensitized to the possibility that freezing drizzle can cause engine damage."


The real-time freezing-drizzle detection system developed by Rasmussen and colleagues will be part of Weather Support for Decision Making (WSDM), a system now at DIA that offers minute-by-minute weather reports tailored to aviation users. WSDM data are displayed in a color-coded, user-friendly format that can be easily read by pilots and other non-meteorologists. WSDM also provides data on snow and unfrozen rain.

Freezing rain falls right past an idling jet engine, Rasmussen explains, but freezing drizzle falls at a much slower rate, so it gets sucked into the engine. The droplets freeze on contact, and the resulting ice builds up on the engine’s hub, or spinner. When the engine is revved up to takeoff speed, ice shards are thrown off the spinner into the rest of the engine.

In the two Denver storms, the major damage was to the delicate tips of the fan blades. These blades generate the lift that makes the plane fly, Rasmussen says. If they’re damaged, the plane loses thrust, because the blades are not at the correct angle to produce the maximum thrust. "It’s not particularly dangerous," says Rasmussen, "but they have to repair the damage, and that’s very costly."

Anatta | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucar.edu

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Cutting edge research for the industries of tomorrow – DFKI and NICT expand cooperation
21.03.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht Molecular motor-powered biocomputers
20.03.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>