Current in-flight icing detection systems (FIDS) cannot detect ice crystals. But equipment manufacturer Zodiac Aerospace (Booth E07) is developing a new FIDS, using optical techniques. It will detect any form of icing and will be able to tell which form of ice–small or large supercooled droplets, crystal and so forth–is impacting the aircraft. It will give the crew specific warnings when large-droplet icing conditions or ice crystals are encountered, François Larue, head of research and technology of Zodiac’s Aircraft Systems division, told AIN. Flight tests should take place in 2016 and entry into service is foreseen in 2017.
Zodiac is also chairing a joint European/U.S. working group on ice detection systems, launched early this year. It comprises 39 members, including officials from EASA and FAA and 16 aircraft manufacturers. The group, Eurocae WG95, has been tasked to revise the FIDS minimum performance specification, taking into account the impact of the new icing atmosphere (where some phenomena are probably linked to climate change) and the new icing rules.