Aircraft de-icing company NICE Aircraft Services and Support is testing a new infrared-based ice detection system, developed by its US parent company Cox, at Germany's Frankfurt airport.

Tests of the Contamination Detection System (CDS), mounted on an aircraft de-icing unit, started at the end of last month. The system is designed to identify the formation of ice in bad visibility, including difficult light and weather conditions, and can detect the formation of ice from 0.5mm (0.02in) layers, including in areas already de-iced. The system comprises a video camera that scans the aircraft, with icy areas showing up in red.

The CDS will speed up the de-icing process, by removing the need for checks by hand when frozen contamination is not visible. Testing of the system will continue at Frankfurt through the winter, says Weyer Indutec, Cox's representative in Germany and Central Europe, after which a certification process will be determined.

Source: Flight International