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The OAR ORTA UxSRTO is no longer operating.

For further information, please visit The Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) Uncrewed Systems Program webpage.

NOAA UAS Program Teams with NASA Ames and Glenn for UAS Arctic Wind Tunnel Testing

UAS Arctic Wind Tunnel testing is in preparation for the Joint Inter-Agency 2018 Arctic UAS Missions.

The NOAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program coordinated with NASA Ames and Glenn and industry for UAS Arctic Wind Tunnel Testing for small UAS. This UAS Arctic Wind Tunnel testing is in preparation for the Joint Inter-Agency 2018 Arctic UAS Missions.  The wind tunnel will produce ice shapes and impingement shape for UAS including the The DataHawk, the ArcticShark, and the ArcticShark with other UAS going through modeling and simulation. These tests will be passive tests with the objective to validate icing simulation with LEWICE software at low Reynolds numbers. A secondary objective is to characterize an icing sensor made by PEMDAS Corporation that will be operated during this series of tests. This test will also set the stage for future testing of 3rd-party UAS include lightweight, low power de-icing technology on UAS.

NASA began icing testing in 1944 with the completion of its Icing Research Tunnel – the longest running and second largest icing facility in the world.  Most ice protection technologies in use today were largely developed at this facility. We have provided information over the years that informed regulatory agencies on the range of icing conditions – via flight, ground, engineering tools, and databases, most recently for Supercooled Large Droplets (SLD) and High Ice Water Content (HIWC). As such, NASA leads international research on aircraft and engine icing, contributing to an increase in aircraft safety.

The NASA Icing Wind Tunnel Testing is Nov 13-17, 2017 for Arctic Missions 2017/18.  

Current test articles considered and partners:


  • DataHawk – DOE/CU Boulder 
  • Puma – NOAA/AV 
  • Wasp – USCG/AV 
  • ArcticShark – DOE/NAVMAR 
  • Flexrotor – NOAA/AeroVel
  • Sea Hunter – UAF

Please contact John “JC” Coffey with any questions.

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