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White Paper

Aircraft ice protection systems design

Ice protection systems are an integral part of the aircraft certification process. With safety as a backdrop, aircraft manufacturers must avoid build-up of ice in cold weather flight conditions while balancing energy efficiency.

Developing anti-icing and de-icing systems from component level to systems integration should be considered early in the design stage to stay on budget and schedule. Simulation and testing play a major role in the development and certification process to ensure the flight safety under icing conditions.

Read this white paper to explore ice protection systems design for next-generation aircraft.

Aircraft ice protection systems simulation and testing

Ice protection systems and components play a crucial role in safe aircraft operation under icing conditions. Icing can damage the aerodynamic shape, increases aircraft drag and reduce its controllability. This impacts flight performance and safety. Such systems are usually installed in wings, nacelle intakes, pitot tubes, stabilizers and propeller and helicopter rotor blades.

These safety-critical systems are part of the certification process and must be considered during the aircraft program development and testing. An integrated simulation and testing approach enables you to evaluate the performance of ice protection components and systems under ideal and worst-case scenarios.

System simulation for aircraft ice protection

System simulation allows you to define the optimal system sizing earlier in the design cycle. It enables a smooth integration of the resulting aircraft ice protection system with other pneumatic consumers and their coupling with the engine bleed air system. Moreover, you can perform what-if analyses like air leaking from a bleed pipe and the impact on the overall system.

Anti-icing component analysis with CFD simulation

After the system type is chosen and the component sizing is completed using system simulation, the components require a more detailed 3D CFD simulation for their individual performance and optimization. The component performance can then be fed back into or coupled with a system simulation model with more accurate parameters to increase system simulation accuracy.

Wing anti-ice system testing

As a critical aspect for the safe operation of an aircraft, wing anti-icing systems must pass a qualification test. The standard prescribes several dynamic tests, including random, shock and sine excitation tests, to be carried out to study their effect on the parts composing the anti-icing system. Multiple-output, multiple-input (MIMO) technology can help you make sure each excitation point is simultaneously excited with the appropriate loading. Using this state-of-the-art technique enables test engineers to increase efficiency in the whole vibration qualification process.

Aircraft ice protection systems engineering

Since ice protection systems are mission-critical systems, their design, development, verification and certification fit into the Siemens Xcelerator product design and engineering, model-based systems engineering (MBSE) and verification management digital threads, where Simcenter performance engineering skill tools provide required engineering data to support aircraft programs and processes. Not only do Simcenter solutions enable the sizing and optimization of the detailed design, but they also provide the elements for the proof of compliance based on virtual and physical test data. This effectively contributes to aircraft program execution excellence by enabling you to stay on time and budget.