For years, jet engine testing during cold temperatures has been limited and has caused significant issues. Operators have relied on temperature charts to determine if ice could be present. However, temperatures are not an accurate way to predict ice given ice can form even when the outside temperature is above freezing– particularly in jet engine testing. Large volumes of air are taken in by turbojet engines, which then eject that mass at high speeds and high temperatures as a result of combustion. As it approaches the intake and the initial step of compression in the test cell, the air speeds up. As the speed rises, the pressure inside the intake reduces because of the increasing velocity. When the pressure drops, it causes the temperature to lower. Icing variables include the humidity levels and pressure of water vapor in the air. Additionally, since all engine geometrics are different, their unique inlet conditions result in different icing limits.
The ice detection system measures ice formation and accretion rates, considering real time airflow rates associated with the engine inlet. The result: less testing time lost during potentially icy conditions. The system continuously monitors for conditions that are dangerous and reports if there are any weather-related changes as they happen. Additionally, it can be integrated with your test cell’s data acquisition system or work as a stand-alone.
Based on our estimates from testing, we estimate that you can recoup 75% of the time lost due to cold-weather conditions.