This paper introduces a recent development in electrothermal heating technology that enables increased power densities on the leading edge of aircraft wings for the purpose of de-icing. Key aspects of this development include a high temperature heater mat, minimal thermal interference between the heating element and leading edge skin, a high quality bond of the heater to the skin and a power density profile that compensates for non-uniform thermal loads on the leading edge skin. Icing tunnel testing results corroborate the value of these key aspects in enabling operation at extreme power densities, even to the point of achieving full evaporative anti-icing operation under Intermittent Maximum conditions.
The advent of higher power density capabilities has opened the door to new approaches to electrothermal deicing that were previously impracticable. Some of these new approaches and their benefits are presented.