In recent years there has been renewed interest in the issues relating to flying in conditions where ice can form for various reasons.
The first concerns flight safety which led, after some serious flight accidents, to the release in 2014 of new certification rules taking into account the possible presence of Super Large Droplets (SLD) in clouds, namely drops of water measuring more than 50 microns in diameter (Appendix O), or the formation of ice crystals (Appendix D/P). The numerical and experimental tools available today are not capable of correctly simulating SLD conditions or the conditions for ice crystals and must, therefore, be improved.
There is also a need to reduce polluting emissions as indicated by SRIA, the "Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda". One of the ways in which this goal can be attained is to adopt laminar flow technology on the wings; however, this is not compatible with the ice protection systems currently in use.
There is the need, as well, to substitute the current hot air ice protection systems that mainly use the energy of the engine and electrical systems offering the dual advantage of reducing the complexity and weight of the systems and reducing the power taken from the engines in the interest of efficiency. This is a difficult goal since electrical ice protection systems usually require power far greater than that available on the aircraft, and for this reason it is necessary to seek innovative solutions possibly with the integration of new technologies.