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Miniaturized ice detection sensor for aerospace and automotive applications

Country of Origin: Greece
Reference Number: TOGR20180521001
Publication Date: 21 May 2018

Summary

A Greek SME active in the design and manufacturing of opto-electronic sub-systems offers a miniaturized ice detection sensor capable of not only detecting the presence of ice in a surface but also to identify its type (glaze, rime, mixed) and measure its thickness. The sensor can be used in the aerospace, automotive, wind turbines, and agro/food industry. Industrial partners and SMEs from all respective markets are sought for commercial agreement in order to integrate the sensor to their systems

Description

The Greek SME is a spin-out of a well-known university photonics laboratory that focuses on the design and manufacturing of opto-electronic sub-systems and provides turn-key solutions for a wide range of applications in the field of optical communications, hardware security and sensors. 

The system offered is a miniaturized ice detection sensor that not only detects the presence of ice but also identifies its type (glaze, rime, mixed) and measures its thickness. The system is capable of detecting the presence of ice from the early stages of accretion (few tens of microns thickness) and discriminating ice from water. Additionally, using its distinct response for the different types of ice combined with ambient temperature and surface temperature data and a large number of curves generated by an in-house developed physical model, the system can identify the type of ice and provide a rather accurate measurement of its thickness.

The small form factor of the sensor enables it to be installed in any kind of surface and its capability to wirelessly connect to a centralized monitoring system facilitates the deployment of multiple sensors forming a distributed sensing network across the surface of interest.

The system has a wide range of applications. It can be installed at the airfoils and/or fuselage of the aircrafts in order to provide accurate data about the icing conditions and generate in time alerts for avoiding flight accidents. It can be installed in different points on a vehicle in order to inform the driver about black ice conditions. Finally, it can be installed at the rotor blades as well as on other critical points at the air turbines in order to avoid structural damage.

The in-house developed software combined with the sensor data can provide real-time monitoring of the icing conditions and generate critical alerts depending on the application.

In the areas of food industry, the ice detector including a temperature sensor as well can be used for monitoring the condition of the frozen products over their time life, from production to the consumer, record internally the evolution of ice existence/thickness in parallel with temperature and transmit them wirelessly when requested.

The technical specifications of the sensor include:

Operating wavelength: 940nm
Operating temperature: -40 to 80 0C
Minimum measureable ice thickness: <100um
Maximum measureable ice thickness: ~1cm
Thickness measurement accuracy: >90%
Temperature measurements: Surface temperature (on-board sensor), ambient temperature (provided externally by dedicated sensor)
Connectivity: 4-wire or BLE 4.0 (Bluetooth protocol)
Battery powered
Hermitically sealed
Dimensions: 3cm x 2cm x 2cm (LxWxH)
Weight: 120gr

The Greek company is seeking for industrial partners or SMEs from mutliple sectors, namely the aerospace, automotive, renewable energy, agrofood industry in order to integrate the proposed sensor in their systems under commercial agreement with technical assistance.
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Advantages and Innovations

Some of the advantages and innovations of the sensor include:

•Ice presence detection, ice type identification and ice thickness measurement
•Measurement of ice characteristics in moving or stationary surfaces
•Easy installation on a wide range of surfaces
•Low cost and small form factor solution in comparison with competition
•Wireless connectivity

Stage Of Development

Prototype available for demonstration

Requested partner

The company is looking for industrial partners or SMEs from the aerospace, automotive and wind- turbine/renewable energy, agro/food industry in order to integrate the proposed sensor in their systems.

The type of collaboration sought is commercial agreement with technical assistance. The Greek company will collaborate with the partner in order to support the integration of the sensor to the system.

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