APS Aviation Inc. has provided support to Canadian company JCAII to test its Remote On-Ground Ice Detection System (ROGIDS) by providing a testing platform to enable JCAII to capture data on the performance of its system.
ROGIDS is a camera-based technology that can detect the presence of ice on aircraft. Similar technology is also used on shuttle launches to inspect ice accreting on fuel tanks. The aviation industry is seeking to use ROGIDS to detect ice on aircraft wings as part of pre-flight checks, including using ROGIDS to confirm if an aircraft is clean after deicing and to determine if the deicing fluid has ‘failed’; that is, if it has expired and is no longer absorbing snow or contamination. Using ROGIDS would remove the need for human visual and/or tactile inspections, greatly reducing the pre-flight workload in ground icing conditions.
JCAII has been conducting ROGIDS field tests on live flights during the 2021-2022 winter season. In March 2022, in conjunction with APS’s annual research and development sessions, JCAII tested and calibrated its Ice Detection Camera technology at the National Research Council Canada (NRC) climatic chamber in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The JCAII team observed APS’s icing tests at the facility to see how the ice accreted on the various surfaces. Testing at the NRC provided a controlled testing environment where the JCAII team could look at specific amounts of accreted ice on known surfaces with known deicing and anti-icing fluids and predictable precipitation rates.
With assistance from APS, JCAII’s pursuit of ROGIDS has the potential to move the industry forward by providing an enhanced suite of pilot inspection tools. Remote on-aircraft trials are expected to begin in the winter of 2023 in which the results of human inspections will be compared with what is seen by the ROGIDS camera. Such activities will continue to improve the technology’s capabilities for providing accurate information on an aircraft’s contamination status, including advanced real‑time inspection.
APS has been significantly involved in the development of industry standards for developing ROGIDS, supporting both JCAII and other manufacturers.
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The aviation sector was particularly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with airlines grounding flights for months on end and international air travel becoming a rare activity. In the next issue of OpenSpace, discover how APS Aviation had to adapt to the dramatic changes in its continued efforts to make air travel safer.