Infrared Radiant Energy Deicing SystemProcess Technologies, Inc. (PTI), of Orchard Park, NY, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have developed an infrared radiant energy deicing system, called InfraTek”, for deicing for business and general aviation aircraft with considerably less harmful effects on the environment than conventional chemical deicing.
Operating similar to a carwash, a plane that has ice and/or snow adhering to it enters one end of a hangar-type structure, is pushed or pulled through the building where it is deiced by infrared heat, and then leaves the building "clean" or free of contamination. Anti-icing fluids are then applied as dictated by the existing weather conditions. Using conventional means, it can take hundreds of gallons of glycol to deice an aircraft depending on the type of aircraft and the weather conditions. The rising financial and environmental costs associated with glycol are a concern at many airports.
Developed under a cooperative research and development agreement (CRDA), awarded and administered by FAA's Office of Aviation Research, PTI funded development of the system and the FAA provided expertise, advice, and instrumented test aircraft. CRDAs allow the FAA to share facilities, equipment, services and personnel resources in cooperation with private industry, academia, or state or local government agencies to develop an idea, prototype or product for direct application to the civil aviation community.
The FAA and PTI successfully demonstrated this technology in March 1996, at New York's Rochester International Airport, when the InfraTek” system effectively deiced a FAA Boeing 727 within six minutes. This gas fired radiant heat system is now operational at Buffalo and at Rheinlander Airport in Wisconsin.
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