Our work can have a highly positive impact on aircraft safety.
The effect that ice can have on aircraft safety is well known: if ice builds up on an aeroplane's wings, for example, it can affect lift and control and lead to accidents. Existing trusted models used to predict ice formation on aircraft have not managed to take in to account the behaviour of the water droplets and how the splashing of the droplet hitting the aircraft affects how the ice is formed.
At the school of Mathematics, we have been working with aircraft icing specialists AeroTex UK. The company develops icing prediction codes and helps to design and certify ice protection systems. Our researchers have helped AeroTex UK to better understand the physics of large droplet impacts and splashing and how that might affect ice formation, particularly on the wings of aeroplanes.
AeroTex has been able to use these insights to inform its icing prediction software, ultimately leading to improved aircraft safety.