NASA's high altitude ice cloud test rig (Photo: NASA)
NASA's high altitude ice cloud test rig being readied for action (Photo: NASA)
The NASA Glenn apparatus to recreate ice crystal clouds at the high altitude flight conditions (Photo: NASA)
About once a month on average, an incident is reported in which turbofan jet engines flying at high-altitude lose power. The pilots report that there is little if any bad weather that might explain the power loss and although uncommon, this fault is potentially disastrous. The culprit is called ice crystal icing, and NASA scientists are making progress in understanding the problem using a world first test facility that creates an artificial ice cloud similar to that encountered by planes at high altitudes.
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