Actionneurs plasmas pour le dégivrage des aéronefs de type drone – Plasma actuators for de-icing of UAVs

  • Doctorat
  • Poitiers
Nom de l'entreprise / du laboratoire: Institut PPRIME
Encadrant: Eric MOREAU, Nicolas BENARD
Date de début: octobre 2023 (ou plus tard)
Durée: 3 ans

This project aims at proposing a disruptive technological solution to prevent icing by optimizing the
electrothermal conversion within a DBD-type electrical discharge. The project, of a purely
experimental nature, proposes to develop an efficient and robust system in an aggressive environment
such as icing conditions, and to identify the multi-physical mechanisms at the interfaces between a
solid wall, a plasma and an icing medium. Currently under test, plasma thermal protection
systems are not optimized compared to commercially available thermoresistive systems and the
interaction mechanisms between the surface, the plasma discharge and the ice are a real scientific
puzzle. It is clear that the use of a plasma discharge leads to a complex mechanism that differs from
simple wall heating since the ionization of the air on the surface of the dielectric and the associated
heat sources, including within the frosted part, have the advantage of promoting the melting of the
ice and the vaporization of the resulting water film.
The ability of these new plasma icing protection technologies to de-ice a wall or to anti-ice will be
evaluated without airflow but in a cold environment (-40°C) and with injection of supercooled drops
(velocity of about 10 m/s and diameter of the order of 300 μm). These conditions will be realized within
a climatic chamber of the PPRIME Institute. The aim will be to characterize the plasma systems from
an electrical point of view by measurements using digital oscilloscopes and intensified imaging (ICCD),
to determine their thermal capacities by IRT (Infrared Thermography) measurements as well as the
electromechanical transfers by PIV (Particle Image Velocimetry) measurements in order to deduce the
different efficiencies. The ombroscopy technique will be used to determine the capacities of the
different systems to de-ice a cold wall covered with ice of controlled thickness by droplet injection.
This project is at the interface of many scientific disciplines: heat transfer, electrical engineering,
plasma physics and materials physics. It is expected that the research conducted by the PhD student
will contribute to the technological evolution of future MALE UAVs such as those developed in the
EURODRONE program.

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