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Icing Research Tunnel

NASA’s Glenn Research Center’s Icing Research Tunnel supports the development of tools and methods for simulating the growth of ice on aircraft surfaces as well as the development and certification of ice protection systems.

Facility Overview

Common Research Model
Common Research Model, CRM, in the Icing Research Tunnel

The Icing Research Tunnel (IRT) is the longest running, second largest icing facility in the world and has been in operation since 1944. Most ice protection technologies in use today were largely developed at this facility. In this facility, natural icing conditions are duplicated to test the effects of in-flight icing conditions on actual aircraft components such as wings tails and engine inlets.

A variety of tests are performed in the IRT including fundamental studies of icing physics, icing prediction validation, and ice protection system development and certification. These tests have been used successfully to reduce flight test hours for ice detection instrumentation and ice protection systems certification.

Frank G. Jackson Icing Research Tunnel
Cleveland Mayor, Frank G. Jackson, tours the Icing Research Tunnel

The IRT can produce continuous airspeeds from 50 to 325 knots and temperatures as low as -35°C year-round, controllable to within 0.5 degree Celsius. Supercooled water droplets between 15 and 275 microns with water content controllable between 0.15 and 4.0 g/m3 can be produced to form an icing cloud. The 6 ft. high, 9 ft. wide, 20 ft long test section can accommodate many full-sized aircraft components as well as large-scale models and an 8.6 ft diameter turntable in the test section can rotate horizontally +/-20 degrees for various angles of attack for various angles of attack.

Quick Facts

Name Icing Research Tunnel
Type Closed-return, atmospheric-type wind tunnel
Test Section 6-ft high by 9-ft wide by 20-ft long
Temperature 5°C (total) to -35°C (static), (year round)
Airspeed 50 to 325 knots (continuous)
Water Droplets 15 to 275 microns
Facility Manager  John.R.Oldenburg @nasa.gov

Capabilities

Test Chamber Dimensions

Tunnel Accessibility

Performance and Capability

Imaging Technology

Contact

Icing Research Tunnel
Facility Manager: Jack Oldenburg
216-433-3583
John.R.Oldenburg@nasa.gov

Testing Division
21000 Brookpark Rd., MS 6-8
Cleveland, Ohio 44135
216-433-8301
William.P.Camperchioli@nasa.gov

If you are unsure about whom to contact about a specific facility question, please call our main number at 216-433-4000

Using Our Facilities

NASA’s Glenn Research Center provides ground test facilities to industry, government, and academia. If you are considering testing in one of our facilities or would like further information about a specific facility or capability, please let us know.

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