NASA 1999 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER 99-1 01.03-1457 (Chron: 990998)


In-flight Icing Assessment and Reporting System (IFIARS)


A system that monitors, assesses and reports atmospheric icing conditions automatically and in a timely manner will improve aviation safety, the efficiency of aircraft operations, and both aviation and general weather forecasting. This proposal identifies the problems caused by atmospheric icing conditions and suggests an innovative method of reducing the adverse impact to aviation operations from such conditions. Because current "systems" for measuring and forecasting icing are considered inadequate, Search Technology's proposed In-flight Icing Assessment and Reporting System (IFIARS) will automate current manual icing detection, measurement and reporting methods. By applying a human-centered design approach, IFIARS will provide greater pilot, flight dispatcher and meteorologist awareness of icing conditions in a more timely manner. Additionally, it will greatly multiply current measurement capabilities by using any aircraft equipped with icing sensor and in-flight data communication technologies as a potential reporting source. IFIARS will be designed to anticipate new sensor, processing and communications technologies as they become available. It will immediately be cost-effective because it will initially use currently installed sensors, avionics and digital communications technologies to report critical icing condition information to all interested parties (i.e., other pilots, dispatchers, weather forecasters, and air traffic controllers/managers) in a timely fashion.


There is a considerable market for IFIARS with commercial airlines and weather forecasting organizations. We are in discussions with airlines, weather services, ice detection system manufacturing and others to investigate what upgrades would be required to their systems to allow icing information to be processed and communicated to other aircraft and to the ground. Airlines could use the information to assess the levels of icing along several possible routes and construct optimum plans based on corporate objectives. Flight crew and dispatchers would improve tactical decision making processes due to better and more timely information. IFIARS would improve the dispatch of aircraft with inoperative anti-icing systems, known as a "No Ice" dispatch. FAA regulations severely restrict the operations of aircraft with inoperative anti-icing systems into areas of known or forecasted icing, which disrupts airline operations and schedules. Real-time IFIARS values could significantly improve the ability of airlines to determine the extent and intensity of icing around major airports; therefore more effectively using an aircraft that might otherwise be grounded. IFIARS can greatly enhance the frequency, quality and reliability of much of the data already used to make accurate and timely weather forecasts.




Ellen J. Bass

Search Technology, Inc.

4960 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Suite 230

Norcross , GA 30071 - 1580

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Search Technology, Inc.

4960 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Ste. 230

Norcross , GA 30071 - 1580