Atmospheric Ice Accretion Measurement Techniques


  • M Virk
  • M Mustafa
  • Q Hamdan



Atmospheric icing on structures has proven to be an area of concern in many cold climate geographical regions like arctic and alpine. Difficulties encountered by the communication, construction and power industries in these areas are the subject of intense investigations for researchers from decades. Three main methods of investigation are generally employed by researchers to study atmospheric ice accretion on structures: a) continuous field measurements, b) lab based simulations using icing wind tunnel & c) numerical modelling. This paper presents a brief review study of various techniques to understand and measure the atmospheric ice accretion on structures, anti/de icing techniques and important parameters for numerical modelling of atmospheric ice accretion.


T G Myers and J.P.F. Charpin., A mathematical model for atmospheric ice accretion and water flow on a cold surface. Heat & Mass Transfer, 2004. 47: p. 5483-5500.

Drage, M.A., Atmospheric icing and meteorological variables - Full scale experiment and testing of models, in Department of Geophysics. 2005, University of Bergen: Bergen, Norway.

Makkonen, L., Atmospheric icing on sea structures. 1984, U.S army cold regions research and engineering labortory: New Hampshire.

W C Macklin and G. S. Payne, Some aspects of the accretion process. Quartely journal of the royal metreological society, 1968: p. 555-564.

Poots, G., Ice and snow accretion on structures. 1996, Somerset, England: Research Studies Press LtD.

S Fikke, et al., COST 727: Atmospheric Icing on Strutures, Measurements and data collection on icing, State of the Art. 2006, MeteoSwiss. p. 110.

E P Lozowski, J R Stallabrass, and F. P. Hearty., The Icing of anunheated, Non-rotating Cylinder, Part I: A Simulation Model. Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology, 1983. 22: p. 2053-2062.<2053:tioaun>;2

Magenheim, B., Microwave Ice Detector. 1977: United States.

Fikke S., G.R., A. Heimo, S. Kunz, M. Ostrozlik, P.-E. Persson, J. Sabata, B. Wareing, B. Wichura, and T.L. J. Chum, K. Säntti, L. Makkonen, COST 727: Atmospheric Icing on Structures, Measurements and data collection on icing: State of the Art. 2006, Publication of MeteoSwiss, 75. p. 110.

Anna, R.D., Ice detection sensor. 1999: United States.

Lardiere and B.F. Wells., Integrated Planar Ice Detector. 1998: United States.

IEC61744: "Overhead lines - Meteorological data for assessing climatic loads", First Edition, August 1997.

Farzaneh, M., Atmospheric Icing of Power Networks: Springer.

Whitaker, C.J., Tower contstruction and maintainance, in Standard handbook of video and television engineering.

L Vincentsen and Jacobsen., Operation and maintenance of the great belt bridge, in IABSE. 2001.

K Kleissl and C.T. Georgakis., Bridge ice accretion and de and anti icing systems: a review, Technical University of Denmark: Lyngby, Denmark.

Virk, M.S., M.C. Homola, and P.J. Nicklasson, Effect of rime ice accretion on aerodynamic characteristics of wind turbine blade profiles. Wind Engineering, 2010. 34(2): p. 207-218.

Homola, M.C., M.S. Virk, and T. Wallenius, Effect of atmospheric temperature and droplet size variation on ice accretion of wind turbine blades. Journal of wind engineering and industrial aerodynamics, 2010. 98(724-729).

Jasinski, W.J., et al., Wind turbine performance under icing conditions. Transactions of the ASME, Journal of solar energy engineering, 1998. 120: p. 60-65.

Ganander, H. and G. Ronsten. Design load aspects due to ice loading on wind turbine blades. in Proceedings of the 2003 BOREAS VI Conference. 2003. Finnish Meteorological Institute.

Muhammad S Virk, Matthew C Homola, and P.J. Nicklasson., Relation between angle of attack and atmospheric ice accretion on large wind turbine blades. Wind Engineering, 2010. 34(6): p. 607-614.

M C Homola, PJ Nicklasson, and P.A. Sundsbø., Ice sensors for wind turbines. Cold Regions Science and Technology, 2006. 46: p. 125-131.

I P Mazin, AV Korolev, and A. Heymsfield., Thermodynamics of icing cylinder for measurements of liquid water content in super cooled clouds. Journal of Atmispheric and Oceanic Technology, 2001. 18: p. 543-558.<0543:toicfm>;2

Peltola, E Laakso, and T. Tammelin., Observation tools of icing events, public report of EU-sponsored project New Icetools, NNE5/2001/259. 2002.


Ryerson, C.C., Assessment of Superstructure Ice Protection as Applied to Offshore Oil Operations Safety: Problems, Hazards, Needs, and Potential Transfer Technology. 2008, US Army Corps of Engineers, Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory.

Maatuk, J., Microprocessor-based Liquid Sensor and Ice Detector. 2004 United States Patent number 6,776,037.

Laakso, T., Holttinen, H., Ronsten, G., Tallhaug L., Horbaty, R., Baring-Gould, I., Lacroix, A., and E. Peltola, Tammelin, B., State-of-the-Art of Wind Energy in Cold Climates, in International Energy Agency, Annex XIX, Finland. 2003.

Seifert., H. Technical Requirements for Rotor Blades Operating in Cold Climates. in proceedings of the BOREAS II conference. 2003. Pyhätunturi, Finland.

Wallace, R.D., et al., Ice Thickness Detector. 2002: United States Patent number 6,384,611.

DeAnna, R., Ice Detection Sensor. 1999: United States Patent number 5,886,256.

Lardiere and B.F. Wells, Integrated Planar Ice Detector. 1998: United States Patent number 5,790,026.

Lee, H. and B. Seegmiller, Ice Detector and De-icing Fluid Effectiveness Monitoring System, United States Patent Number 5,523,959. 1996.

Geraldi, J.J., Hickman, G.A., Khatkhate, A.A., Pruzan, D.A., Measuring Ice Distribution Profiles with Attached Capacitance Electrodes. 1996: United States Patent number 5,551,288.

Federow, H.L., Silverman, J.H., Laser Ice Detector. 1994: United States Patent number 5,296,853.

Goldberg, J.L., Lardiere Jr., B.G., Expulsive Ice Detector. 1993: United States Patent number 5,523,959.

Gerardi, J.J., P.R. Dahl, and G.A. Hickman, Piezoelectric ice sensor. 1993: United States Patent 5191791

Klainer, S.M., Milanovich, F.P., Optical Sensor for the Detection of Ice Formation and other Chemical Species. 1990: United States Patent number 4,913,519.

Khurgin, B., Ice Detector with Movable Feeler. 1989: United States Patent number 4,873,510.

Hansman Jr., R.J., Kirby, M., Measurement of Ice Growth during Simulated and Natural Icing Conditions using Ultrasonic Pulse-Echo Techniques. Journal of Aircrafts, 1986. 23 p. 492-498.

Chamuel, J.R., Ultrasonic Aircraft Ice Detector using Flexural Waves. 1984: United States Patent number 4,461,178.

Soufflet, Y., Improvement of runback water film calculation and its impact on ice prediction, in School of Engineering. 2008, Cranfield University.

N Dalili, AEdrisy, and R. Carriveay., review of surface engineering issues critical to wind turbine performance. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2009. 13: p. 428-438.

Fortin, G., Thermodynamique de la Glace Atmosphérique, in UQAC. 2009.

Laakso, T., et al., Wind energy projects in cold climates. 2005, International Energy Agency.

S Ozgen and M. Cambek., Ice accretion simulation on multi-element airfoils using extended Messinger model. Heat Mass Transfer, 2009. 45: p. 305-322.

Fluent, Collection efficiency for icing analysis, E. 156, Editor. 2001.

G Croce, et al. NUMERICAL SIMULATION OF ICING ROUGHNESS GROWTH. in 8th. World Congress on Computational Mechanics. 2008. Venice, Italy.

Ackley, S.F. and M.K. Temleton, Computer modelling of atmospheric ice accretion, C.R. 79, Editor. 1979.

Makkonen, L., Models for the growth of rime, glaze, icicles and wet snow on structures. Philosiphical transactions of the Royal Society A, 2000. 358(1776): p. 2913-2939.



How to Cite

Virk, M., Mustafa, M. and Hamdan, Q. (2011) “Atmospheric Ice Accretion Measurement Techniques”, The International Journal of Multiphysics, 5(3), pp. 229-242. doi: 10.1260/1750-9548.5.3.229.




Most read articles by the same author(s)