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In-Flight Icing

Aircraft Icing According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), more than 25 occur accidents annually, some resulting in fatalities and damage to aircraft. High temporal and spatial resolution microphysical parameters from geosytationary and polar-orbiting satellites can be combined with model output and real-time sensor data to improve products that aid in the avoidance of icing events. ASAP algorithms use combinations of visible reflectance and infrared emittance to estimate cloud properties to reduce the number of in-flight encounters with clouds containing super-cooled water droplets. ASAP algorithms are used to produce estimates of cloud classification, height, phase, temperature and size and concentration of super-cooled droplets contained in icing clouds. These efforts are lead by Dr. Patrick Minnis at the NASA Langley Research Center, who maintains an extensive icing and cloud properties page that can be viewed in real time.

The FAA AWRP In-flight Icing Product Development Team, led by Dr. Marcia Politovich at NCAR, developed the Current Icing Potential (CIP) product to provide aviators with advanced planning tools for icing hazards. The CIP algorithm combines numerical output with satellite imagery, radar reflectivity, surface observations and pilot reports to produce potential icing locations. CIP provides potential icing conditions over the continental U.S. hourly. CIP outputs are available at the NOAA Aviation Weather Center (AWC).

CIP Lo-Res CIP ASAP Enhanced High-Res


In 2005, a NASA IPBD report documented enhancements to CIP by ASAP that provide significant enhancements including seamless 4 kilometer icing severity information throughout the continental U.S. and Alaska every 15 minutes. This work was lead by Dr. Julie Haggerty at NCAR.




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