Science Café Cleveland presents


"Ice Crystal Icing in Turbofan Engines May Explain Loss of Power Events"


NOVEMBER 11, 2013




Michael J. Oliver, Ph.D.

Aerospace Research Engineer, Engine Icing

NASA Glenn Research Center, Icing Branch





Turbofan engines powering commercial aircraft have been found to sometimes experience temporary loss of power. While this phenomenon is still not fully understood, one important clue is that these events seem to occur while operating at high altitudes in the vicinity of convective storms, and this suggests that icing may be a factor.
It is suspected that the aircraft are flying through nearly invisible clouds of ice crystals outpouring from the convective storm cells. The theory is that ice crystals are ingested by the engines which causes ice to build up on hardware that is normally significantly warmer than freezing temperature.  The ice buildup leads to an inflight, uncommanded loss of power event.   This phenomenon is termed ‘ice crystal icing' and is suspected as the cause of over 250 loss of power revenue service events worldwide. 
NASA Glenn is the only facility in the world to have successfully tested a full scale engine at simulated high altitude ice crystal icing conditions and in this talk I will discuss how we are doing this and what we have learned so far.




"Frigid Heat: How Ice can Menace a Hot Engine"-NASA News




WHERE: The Market Garden Brewery

(Located at 1947 West 25th Street next to the West Side Market, Cleveland, Ohio)


WHEN: November 11, 2013

Discussion starts around 7:00 p.m.

*Please Note* A few of our cafes have approached capacity and/or standing room only. If you want to be 100% sure to get in and get a good seat, you might want to arrive a bit early.


WHO: Sponsored by Case Western Reserve University chapter of Sigma Xi, WCPN

ideastream, and the Market Garden Brewery




Click here to download a pdf flyer of the event