One of the most serious problems faced by aviation is icing, which sometimes leads to tragic consequences. Modern anti-icing systems are based primarily on spraying antifreeze over the wing surfaces before flight. Their main disadvantage is the high cost, high consumption of the reagent, which is also harmful to the environment.
A group of researchers at the University of Arizona, led by renowned anti-icing specialist Konrad Rikaszewski, has been working for several years to create a system that minimizes the use of antifreeze.
The idea of know-how was "prompted" by a poisonous poison dart frog. She reacts to the emerging danger with skin, consisting of two layers. The outer layer fixes the threat, and the inner one at this time begins to release a deadly poison.
The new system can be conventionally called the "weeping wing". The researchers suggest adding 2 layers with different properties to the wing skin. The outer layer will interact with the environment, and the inner layer will be coated with antifreeze. When ice builds up on the upper layer, its pores will be filled with ice and come into contact with the antifreeze of the lower layer. This will melt the ice. Antifreeze spraying on the inner layer will be automatic.
Some skeptics express fears that this system may adversely affect the aerodynamics of the wing, so scientists plan to bring it to normal using drones in Arctic conditions.