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Welcome to the Virtual Tour of the NASA Glenn Icing Research Tunnel! This Web site was developed to accompany the Icing Research Tunnel (IRT) series of videoconferences. The videoconferences introduce the NASA Glenn Icing Research program and provide a tour of the Icing Research Tunnel. The site includes background information on the history of the Icing Research Tunnel, research that is conducted in the IRT, images of the main components of the tunnel, archived video from the videoconferences, and Web-based assessment activities.

The NASA Glenn IRT is the oldest and largest refrigerated icing wind tunnel in the world. It has been used to research ice detection systems and develop icing technologies used on many of today's aircraft. The IRT is able to duplicate nature's icing conditions that aircraft typically encounter. The conditions are simulated using a refrigeration plant and a spray bar system that generate an icing cloud in the tunnel. The IRT has played a role in developing, testing, and certifying methods to prevent ice buildup on aircraft.

Today the Icing Research Tunnel is used to investigate:

  • Low-powered electromechanical deicing and anti-icing fluids for use on the ground
  • Deicing and anti-icing research on STOVL rotor systems and certification.
  • Certification of ice protection systems for military and commercial aircraft.

The IRT is capable of producing airspeeds from 50 to 400 mph and temperatures as
low as -20o F.

It has ten spraybars with one hundred nozzles that produce supercooled water droplets that can form a 4 ft high by 6 ft wide ice cloud.

The Icing Branch at NASA Glenn Research Center performs research activities related to the development of methods for evaluating and simulating the growth of ice on aircraft surfaces, the effects that ice may have on the behavior of aircraft in flight, and the behavior of ice protection/detection systems. The Branch uses the Icing Research Tunnel and the Twin Otter Icing Research Aircraft to accomplish this.

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Responsible NASA Official: Theresa.M.Scott (Acting)