The US Air Force (USAF) Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) and Battelle Memorial Institute have reached a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) for the development of anti-icing technology for aircraft.
Through the collaboration, AFLCMC and Battelle will create an ice protection system that could enhance performance of the aircraft and reduce the risk of aborted missions.
In order to achieve maximum operational performance, unmanned aircraft systems must be able to complete missions in adverse weather conditions, such as light to moderate icing, the USAF said in a statement.
AFLCMC intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance technology development chief major Andrew Soine said: "From a traditional viewpoint, technological advancements achieved as a result of this collaboration would not have been made possible without structured and formalised research and development agreements.
“These agreements allow the Air Force to express a mutual interest in the future of the technology as both parties collaborate for a solution by utilising resources other than taxpayer money."
Battelle is currently in the final stages of developing a ice protection system that uses a carbon nanotube dispersant as a resistive heater for anti-ice/de-ice capability.
The system, combined with an autonomous, intelligent, closed-loop controller, provides the lowest size, weight, and power electrothermal solution.
Under the terms of the agreement, Battelle will continue to test and validate their research and development efforts on test wings and engine air inlets from operational systems.
Battelle programme manager Randy Johnson said: “Access to government furnished equipment allowed Battelle to validate multiple modelling and simulation tests and brought developments to the current integration stage on operational aircraft.
“This agreement will also allow the air force to provide us with detailed technical information required for the actual integration.”
The collaboration with USAF will help Battelle in acquiring additional external funding through various proposals and grants.