Aircraft icing represents a serious hazard in aviation which has caused a number of fatal accidents over the years. In addition, it can lead to substantial increase in drag and weight, thus reducing the aerodynamics performance of the airplane. The process of ice accretion on a solid surface is a complex interaction of aerodynamic and environmental variables. The complex relationship makes machine learning-based methods an attractive alternative to traditional numerical simulation-based approaches. In this study, we introduce a purely data-driven approach to find the complex pattern between different flight conditions and aircraft icing severity prediction. The supervised learning algorithm Extreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost) is applied to establish the prediction framework which makes prediction based on any set of observations. The input flight conditions for the proposed prediction framework are liquid water content, droplet diameter and exposure time. The proposed approach is demonstrated in three cases: maximum ice thickness prediction, icing area prediction and icing severity level evaluation. Performance comparison studies and error analysis are also conducted to verify the effectiveness and performance of the proposed method. Results show that the proposed method has reasonable capability in evaluating aircraft icing severity.
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