These original Kirt's Cogitations™ may be reproduced
(no more than 5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt Blattenberger.
here to return to the Table of Contents.
Cog·i·ta·tion [koj-i-tey'-shun] – noun: Concerted
reflection; meditation; contemplation.
Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.
Microstrip Ice Detectors
Microstrip lines are now being used to detect the
presence of ice on aircraft wings in experiments . Their thinness allows installation at the surface of the
airfoil where the ice accumulates without significantly affecting the airfoil shape. Sensor spots are areas of
microstrip that are exposed to the environment and depend on a change in local capacitance due to the presence of
ice or water. The spots are spaced at open circuit points every half wavelength (about 4 inches for the substrate
in use). A 1 GHz signal is fed into the system and the return loss phase and magnitude is used determine when to
activate de-icing equipment. A microprocessor corrects the I and Q components to maintain the waveshape along the
transmission line so that a constant reference is maintained. This work is being done at the Johnson Space Center