A LOW-POWER DE-ICING system, which uses a short-duration, high-acceleration deflection of the leading edge to remove ice, has been selected by Raytheon Aircraft for use on the horizontal stabiliser of its Premier I light business-jet.

The electro-magnetic expulsion de-icing (EMEDI) system has been developed by Innovative Dynamics (IDI) and will be manufactured by Cox. Both companies are based in New York. The technology was developed by NASA, commercialised by IDI and Cox, and uses electro-magnetic actuators to excite a leading-edge shield and expel the ice (see diagram).

The EMEDI system can be used to remove ice accumulations using "very little" electrical power, the developer says - about 75W for the Premier I, compared with 6kW for an equivalent electrothermal de-icer. Less than 300W would be needed to de-ice the Premier wing and tail, says IDI president Joseph Gerardi.

The first application of the EMEDI system will be the US Department of Defense's General Atomics Predator unmanned air-vehicle, he says. Three systems have been ordered initially, and flight tests are planned to take place by the end of 1996. A total of 100 systems could be required, Gerardi says. De-icing the Predator wing and tail will require 300W of electrical power.

The system has been tested in icing tunnels and has demonstrated the ability to remove ice accumulations of 1.25mm or greater. IDI has also developed a flush-mounted icing-onset indicator, which can sense ice accretions as thin as 1.25mm and trigger the de-icing system. The same sensor has been licensed to BFGoodrich for use with conventional pneumatic de-icing systems, says Gerardi.

The EMEDI system will be used on the Cirrus SR20 light aircraft and was to have been used in the Cirrus-designed Israviation ST50, but has been dropped because of funding difficulties. IDI is looking at other light business-jets, such as the Cessna CitationJet, and regional airliners, where engine bleed-air for de-icing is in short supply.

Source: Flight International