TWID - Heating-Paint Sensor Based Wing Ice Detector

In the scope of the TWID project, a method for reliable detection of ice on wing surfaces and other relevant structures on an aircraft is to be developed, examined and validated in the course of various tests on the small-scale and full-scale models in the icing wind tunnel. Ice detection combined with the de-icing method, which is already in development, results in a completely self-sufficient de-icing system, which independently identifies and reliably removes ice on the wings.

Short Description


In previous research projects, electrothermal multi-zone de-icing systems were investigated and their function has been proven. A certain amount of ice is required on the cyclically heated surfaces for proper operation of such systems. 

Since this ice layer must not be too thick, for aerodynamic reasons, a reliable detection system (ideally including thickness measurement) is required here. By combining these systems, the de-icing system can operate efficiently and is, therefore, particularly of interest for small aircraft.


  • To research a reliable ice detection method.
  • To investigate detection and de-icing systems' combination possibilities.
  • To perform functionality verification in the icing wind tunnel of FH JOANNEUM (small-scale tests).
  • To perform the functionality verification of a 1:1 scaled prototype at RTA.


This project aims to develop and test a corresponding ice detector on electronic and mechanical levels in cooperation with well-known partners. The tests are carried out in climatic chambers, model and full-scale ice wind tunnels. 

In the course of the project, the ice detector will be reduced in size and integrated into a de-icing system. Ideally, it would be integrated into the de-icing system developed as part of the FFG eWING_DE-ICER project, which is based on a thermoelectric heating system. 

The integration of the already ongoing project with the planned TWID project would be ideal timewise, and would subsequently lead to a completely self-sufficient de-icing system, which would drastically reduce the probability of accidents due to undetected ice in the future.


  • Conducting patent research
  • Development and validation of simulation models
  • Systematic investigation of the measurement principle
  • Performing small-scale tests
  • Functionality demonstration based on full-scale prototypes.

Expected results

Combining an electrothermal de-icing system with a reliable ice detection method. The aim is to demonstrate a self-sufficient de-icing system which identifies ice accretion and initiates appropriate de-icing measures.. The demonstration is planned at prototype level.


An ice detection system could be demonstrated on a capacitive basis on a small-scale model. Combining it with an electrothermal de-icing system could be positively implemented.

Picture gallery

Aviation Forum Austria 2016: eWing TWID

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Project Partners

  • IESTA - Institut für innovative Energie- & Stoffaustauschsysteme - Coordinator
  • INFINEON Technologies Austria AG
  • qPunkt GmbH

Funding program: TAKE OFF