Measuring ice accretion with a microwave radiometer.
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Trapp, Tanner J. 1994-
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Ice accretion inside jet engines is a major threat to modern aviation. Ice crystals in the atmosphere can be ingested by turbofan jet engines and build up inside reducing airflow through the engine. A reliable method to detect ice inside the engine before power loss occurs is needed. A passive microwave sensor has been developed to address this problem. The ice accretion sensor has been developed to address this problem. The ice accretion sensor is a microwave radiometer which receives the natural thermal emissions of an environment. Ice emits high levels of energy compared to other materials at microwave frequencies making it highly detectable. The harsh measurement environment inside a jet engine has been addressed in the sensor design. Experimental results demonstrate the microwave radiometer's capability to detect ice accretion in an engine-like environment.