Atmospheric Icing Sensors
Glenn Research Center
NASA’s Glenn Research Center scientists are sending up weather balloons to read weather data and validate the agency’s ground-based sensors. The launch will provide better detection of potential icing hazards around the nation’s airports.
The instruments on the weather balloons measure pressure, temperature, humidity, and supercooled liquid water content. Supercooled liquid water freezes on impact with aircraft, creating a potentially serious safety hazard. Detecting hazardous icing conditions in advance will help pilots, air traffic controllers, and airline dispatchers navigate airplanes and passengers away from danger.
Glenn’s ground-based station includes Ka-band cloud radar, which reads particle density distribution. The station’s multi-frequency microwave radiometer also measures liquid water and provides vertical temperature and water vapor profiles. A ceilometer supports refined cloud base analysis.
The balloon campaign is part of an ongoing effort by the center’s icing re - searchers to field-test and develop products for disseminating ic - ing hazard information to flight crews. An experimental Web-based system, currently available only to researchers, provides real-time, raw sensor data and a profile of conditions.
For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/home .