The US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center and Battelle Memorial Institute established a cooperative research and development agreement to develop affordable, lightweight, easily adaptable ice protection technology for the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

In order to achieve maximum operational performance, UAS must be able to complete missions in adverse weather conditions, such as light to moderate icing. Decreased flight performance and aborted missions occur when a UAS is unable to meet these challenges.

For the Air Force, this agreement supports research and development efforts for discovering an ice protection system that contributes to enhanced performance and less aborted missions. These types of agreements also allow the Air Force to explore technological developments without committing funding.

The final stages for developing an ice protection system that uses a carbon nanotube dispersant as a resistive heater for anti-ice/de-ice capability are being conducted by Battelle. Coupled with an autonomous, intelligent, closed-loop controller, the system provides the lowest size, weight, and power electro-thermal solution available.

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The Air Force Technology Transfer Program was created to link technology, the Air Force mission, and the commercial marketplace by ensuring that Air Force science and engineering activities are transferred or intentionally shared with state and local governments, academia and industry.