Ultrasonic guided wave tomography for ice detection

Xiang Zhao, Joseph L. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Of great concern for many structures, particularly critical sections of rotary and fixed wing aircrafts, is the ability to detect ice either on grounded or in-flight vehicles. As a consequence, some work is reported here that could be useful for a variety of different industries where ice formation is an important problem. This paper presents experimental validations of a probability-based reconstruction algorithm (PRA) on ice detection of plate-like structures. The ice detection tests are performed for three different specimens: a single layer aluminum plate with a circular ice sensing array, a titanium plate with a sparse rectangular ice sensing array, and a carbon-fiber-reinforced titanium plate with an embedded ice sensing array mounted on a carbon fiber back plate. Cases from the simple to the more challenging exemplify that special modes can be used to differentiate ice from water, a sparse rectangular array could also be used for ice detection, and an ice sensing array could be further used to detect the ice on the sensor free side, a very useful application of ice sensing for aircraft wings, for example. Ice detection images for the respective cases are reconstructed to investigate the feasibility of ice sensing with ultrasonic guided wave tomography technology. The results show that the PRA based ultrasonic guided wave tomography method successfully detected and showed ice spots correctly for all three cases. This corroborates the fact that ultrasonic guided wave imaging technology could be a potential useful ice sensing tool in plate-like structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-219
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Apr 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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