Research Projects

Smart Ice Protection System for Emergency and Rescue Service UAS


Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in multirotor configuration are utilized in a variety of applications nowadays. IceDrone addresses one important topic - the impact of in-flight icing as adverse weather condition. Thanks to initiatives like the FFG/BMK funded R&D project All-weather Drone, it is known that icing can have a major impact on unprotected small multirotor UAVs and lead within minutes to a loss of the vehicle. Yet no sophisticated commercially available ice protection system for small multirotor UAVs exists at the moment. As a consequence, the risk of icing cannot be fully addressed. Certain operators like Emergency and Rescue Services require their UAVs to be capable to operate safely all-year round to be a feasible technical instrument for daily operations. Therefore, the motivation for IceDrone is to investigate viable technical solutions to overcome these limitations and enable the operation of multirotor UAVs in icing conditions.

2024 – 2026, TakeOff 2022, FFG/BMK

Breaking the ice - novel energy efficient hybrid de-icing systems


The project aims to create durable, low-cost and easily applied ice-phobic coatings, to deepen the understanding of electro-thermal ice protection system energy requirements, to improve current icing characterization tests and pave the way towards more energy efficient and improved electro-thermal ice-protection systems. Knowledge is generated in various areas covering energy requirements and strategies to enhance energy efficiency of electro-thermal de-icing, the development of novel coating concepts, the creation of a new hybrid de-icing system combining passive and active de-icing, as well as the establishment of testing methods for hybrid de-icing systems for quantitative comparisons. The project allows the unique opportunity of testing the proposed hybrid system in relevant environmental conditions with a novel 4D scanning system.


2024 – 2026, TakeOff 2022, FFG/BMK


3D aircraft icing code development based on high resolution icing wind tunnel tests


The main goal of 3D-IceSim is to develop a validated 3D icing code. Such an 3D icing code would be of great benefit to the development process of new ice protection systems and innovative aircraft. It can reduce the required experimental test effort in icing wind tunnels and flight tests substantially, as well as improve and speed up the development process. In addition to the resulting time and cost savings, there is also a positive effect for the climate and the environment. Optimizations in experimental testing and more efficient ice protection systems reduce energy consumption and emissions considerably.

2023 – 2025, TakeOff 2021, FFG/BMK


LABELO - Laser structured anti-icing coatings for aircraft surfaces


The project aims to develop durable and highly effective passive anti-icing surfaces by combining three different technologies. Those are laser structuring to create nanostructures (LIPSS) and porous microstructures, functional nano-coatings based on silanes, as well as a plasma coating, in which a Hexamethyldisiloxane layer (HMDSO) is applied using plasma to increase durability. Furthermore, regenerative Slippery Liquid Infused Porous Surfaces (SLIPS) are investigated on the basis of laser structures. To assess the performance of the anti-ice coatings developed in LABELO, experimental icing tests are carried out in an icing wind tunnel and with an icing rotor rig. Moreover, numerical simulation of wetting and icing processes are performed as part of the project.


2022 – 2025, TakeOff 2021, FFG/BMK

PrISM - Propeller Ice Shed Measurement


Icing on aircraft propellers causes performance loss, both through a reduction in thrust and an increase in torque. In serious cases, this can lead to an inability to maintain altitude and/or airspeed. The PrISM project aims to investigate and collect ice accretion and shedding data for a propeller representative for large transport category aircraft (EASA CS-25) and intends to advance the overall capability significantly compared to the current global state of the art. Testing will be performed under highly representative Appendix O icing conditions at RTA in Vienna, Austria. Furthermore, an ice impact energy measurement system will be developed and supporting numerical analysis is performed. The project will enable a better understanding of the icing risk, allowing more capable and efficient propeller ice protection designs to be developed and verified in future.


2022 – 2024, TakeOff 2020, FFG/BMK

All-weather Drone - Research and Development of Capabilities for Multicopter UAS Operation in Severe Weather Conditions


All-weather Drone is a R&D project in which the effects of defined severe weather conditions (rain, snow and in-flight icing) on the operation of multicopters with 25 kg maximum take-off weight and the implications on performance and, hence, safety of flight are investigated. The international and multidisciplinary consortium consists of 10 organizations and is supported by an expert advisory board. As part of the project detection capabilities are developed for flight of multicopters in such weather conditions together with ice protection systems. Regulatory recommendations are derived from the project work to ensure that aviation authorities have a data-based framework in which to assess the risks associated with UAS operations in severe weather conditions. Additionally, market and industry relevant aspects are researched and incorporated into the project work to leverage the outcome.


2021 - 2024, TakeOff 2020, FFG/BMK

JOICE - Joint Austrian In-Flight Icing Research Venture 2020+



The research and development project JOICE is the Austrian flagship R&D project in the field of aircraft icing. It's top level objective is to combine and leverage the skills and competencies of the involved organizations in the area of aircraft in-flight icing. The project comprises a wide range of technical activities, e.g. advancement of icing wind tunnel structure, numerical simulation, 3D documentation of ice shapes, development of ice detection and ice protection systems. The consortium consists of 15 project partners and is supported by an international advisory board from leading organizations in the aviation sector. JOICE thereby increases the international visibilty of the Austrian icing community.


2020 - 2023, TakeOff 2019, FFG/BMK

ICE GENESIS - Creating the next generation of 3D simulation means for icing



The research project will provide the European aeronautical industry with a validated new generation of 3D icing engineering tools (numerical simulation tools and upgraded test capabilities), addressing App C, O and snow conditions, for safe, efficient, and cost effective design and certification of future regional, business and large aircraft, rotorcraft and engines. ICE GENESIS will permit weather hazards to be more precisely evaluated and properly mitigated thanks to adapted design or optimized protection through either active or passive means. Furthermore, ICE GENESIS will pave the way for 3D digital tools to be used in the future as acceptable means of compliance by the regulation authorities.


2019 - 2022, Horizon2020, EU


Development of a measurement system for the time-resolved documentation of icing and de-icing processes in aviation


The 4D AIRCRAFT ICING project focuses on the research and development of a highly accurate and time-resolved measurement system for the documentation of icing and de-icing processes in icing wind tunnels. The time-resolved documentation of icing and de-icing processes represents a novelty approach and will significantly contribute to the development and certification of future de-icing systems. Moreover, it will play an important role in the validation of numerical simulation models. This unique project and the therein developed measurement method will enhance the capabilities in the aircraft icing sector.


2019 - 2021, TakeOff 2018, FFG/BMVIT

HIS - Heli Ice Safe

Development of innovative technologies for a complete de-icing system for small and medium-sized helicopters


The goal of the HIS project is the research and development of a complete ice protection system usable for small and medium-sized helicopters by using novel ice protection concepts. Current ice protection systems are only available for large helicopters and cannot be transferred to small and medium-sized helicopters, due to their complexity, weight and energy consumption. The intention of the project HIS is to find new approaches for a reliable, low energy, lightweight and less complex ice protection system, which can be used both as a retrofit system and as an original equipment.


2018 - 2020, TakeOff 2016, FFG/BMVIT