Aircraft operators being faced with water accumulation in fuel tanks on a daily basis and are looking for reliable detection systems to determine the remaining amount of accumulated ice during maintenance after flight. Using such a technology, an increase in the safety and efficiency of the aircraft operation would be possible in this highly competitive market. This article presents the use of the Acoustic Emission Technique (AE) for the reliable and non-invasive monitoring of the melting of ice in fuel tanks. This technology is in principle based on the fact that a phase transition comes frequently along with stress relaxation that can be used for monitoring the process. Therefore, the melting of water can, in essence, be monitored with AE without accessing the ice directly. The analysis of the AE signals has been carried out in the time domain since it was the melting of ice needed to be monitored as a function of temperature rise time. The insights presented in this paper can possibly lead to new technologies for ice detection, especially in remote areas that are not easily accessible with other techniques.
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