MAE Seminar: Aircraft Icing Physics and Innovative Strategies for Aircraft Icing Mitigation

MAE Conference Room
Hui Hu

Martin C. Jischke Professor in Aerospace Engineering
Director, Aircraft Icing Physics and Anti-/De-icing Technology Laboratory
Department of Aerospace Engineering, Iowa State University

Abstract: Aircraft icing is widely recognized as a significant hazard to aircraft operations in cold weather. In this talk, recent progress made in the speaker’s research laboratory in conducting a series of experimental studies to elucidate underlying physics pertinent to aircraft icing phenomena will be introduced. By leveraging a unique icing research tunnel available at Iowa State University (ISU-IRT), comprehensive investigations are being conducted to examine the important micro-physical processes pertinent to aircraft icing phenomena. A suite of advanced flow diagnostic techniques, which include molecular-tagging velocimetry and thermometry (MTV&T), digital image projection (DIP) and high-speed infrared (IR) imaging thermometry techniques, are developed and applied to achieve quantitative measurements of the dynamics of water droplet impingement, transient behavior of the wind-driven surface water runback, unsteady heat transfer and dynamic ice accretion process over the surfaces of airfoil/wing models. The performance of various bioinspired icephobic coatings, including lotus-inspired superhydrophobic coatings, pitcher-plant-inspired Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces (SLIPS) and novel durable icephobic soft gel surfaces, are evaluated quantitatively at different icing conditions, ranging from dry rime icing to wet glaze icing. The recent research efforts on aero-engine icing and anti-/de-icing as well as development of novel active anti-/de-icing strategies by utilizing Dielectric-Barrier-Discharge (DBD) plasma actuation also will briefly be introduced. The findings derived from the icing physics studies can be used to improve current icing accretion models for more accurate prediction of ice formation and accretion processes over aircraft wings and to develop effective anti-/de-icing strategies for safer and more efficient aircraft operation in cold weather.

Bio:  Hui Hu is the Martin C. Jischke Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Iowa State University. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees in aerospace engineering from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (BUAA) in China, and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Tokyo in Japan. Hu is an ASME fellow and AIAA associate fellow. His recent research interests include advanced laser diagnostics, aircraft icing physics and anti-/de-icing technology; film cooling and thermal management of gas turbines; wind turbine aeromechanic and rotorcraft aerodynamics; bioinspired designs of unmanned aerial systems (UAS); wind engineering and Fluid-Structure Interactions (FSI) of built structures in violent wind storms (i.e., tornadoes, downbursts and snow/rain storms). Hu received several prestigious awards in recent years, including the 2006 NSF-CAREER Award, 2007 Best Paper in Fluid Mechanics Award (Measurement Science and Technology, IOP Publishing), 2009 AIAA Best Paper Award in Applied Aerodynamics, 2012 Mid-Career Achievement in Research Award of Iowa State University, 2013 AIAA Best Paper Award in Ground Testing Technology, and 2014 Renewable Energy Impact Award of Iowa Energy Center. Further information about Hu's technical background and recent research activities is available at: