Ice developing on the wings of aircraft during flight is responsible for many disasters. Two of the most notable deaths attributed to such crashes are Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens. Ice is also responsible for dozens of flight cancellations and delays at airports today. New software developed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) helps pilots detect icing potential in the atmosphere. Current Icing Potential (CIP) maps plot cloud droplets, freezing rain, and drizzle that form ice on aircraft wings and provide a Web-based display indicating icing conditions. "The CIP product has continued to provide users with valuable information on where to expect areas of in-flight icing since it became operational a few months ago," says Gregory Burke, director of the Office of Air Traffic Systems Development at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). For more information, go to http://cdm.aviationweather.noaa.gov.
With a better understanding of materials’ response to load and temperature, researchers could potentially use the knowledge to improve design. The research could even help geologists studying plate tectonics.
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