Shape Memory Alloy Rotor Blade Deicing Conference Paper uri icon


  • Because of power, space, and weight limitations, most modern rotorcraft lack deicing capabilities, thus reducing their operational capacity. The use of shape memory alloy (SMA) materials is an attractive solution for this problem due to their high actuation power to weight ratio. This paper details a multi-stage feasibility study of an SMA-based rotor blade deicing concept. In the presented design, a thin aluminum sheet shaped as the leading edge of a NACA 0012 airfoil is connected to thin NiTi SMA wires. When the wires are actuated, they contract, deforming the aluminum sheet and fracturing the ice on its surface. The motivation for such a design is presented along with a brief overview of existing research into rotor blade deicing. The basic design is then described in more detail. The software analysis performed on the design is discussed, and design and construction of the prototype is presented. When tested, the prototype successfully fractured a solid sheet of ice on its surface. 2013 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved.

name of conference

  • 54th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference

published proceedings

  • 54th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference

author list (cited authors)

  • Sullivan, D. B., Righi, F., Hartl, D. J., & Rogers, J.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Sullivan, Daniel B||Righi, Florent||Hartl, Darren J||Rogers, Jonathan

publication date

  • April 2013