Redstone Test Center’s icing tests


The US Army Redstone Test Center is to conduct icing tests over Marquette on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the surrounding areas. This is to begin in mid-February this year and will continue through to early May.

The team operates two specially-modified aircraft to conduct these tests. One is a CH-47D Chinook helicopter equipped with the Helicopter Icing Spray System (HISS), which creates a controlled-cloud environment through which the test aircraft flies. The effects of ice accumulation and shedding are then documented with onboard instrumentation and photography. The icing fluid sprayed via the HISS consists of 59ml of yellow food dye for every 1,700 gallons (6435 liters) of water.

The second support aircraft is an RC-12G (Beechcraft King Air) equipped with specialized cloud physics sensors that are used to characterize the cloud generated by the HISS before the tested aircraft penetrates the icing cloud.

The Redstone Test Center is located in Huntsville, Alabama, but the weather conditions in the Marquette area are better (colder) for testing, as they more closely reflect the environment in which the aircraft will conduct its missions.

“This is our third year to conduct icing testing over the Marquette area. We are very pleased with the partnership. The area offers ideal conditions for this testing, and with lots of equipment and personnel involved in the testing, we feel good about contributing to the local economy,” said RTC Commander Col. John Jones.

January 25, 2017

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