Several series of experiments were conducted in order to investigate wave formation and wave characteristics on a thin layer of de/anti-icing fluid using a nonintrusive technique. The configuration consists of a thin layer of de/anti-icing fluid deposited on the lower wall of the wind tunnel section, sheared by a turbulent airflow. Beyond a critical value of the wind speed, two-dimensional surface waves could be observed. The characteristics of these waves like the wavelength and the wave speed could be measured using the light absorption technique. The main purpose of the study is to augment the already existing experimental data for wave characteristics of Newtonian liquid layers in the literature. The non-Newtonian character and the high viscosities of the fluids used render these experiments and their results original. The results obtained from the experiments have been compared with the results of an already existing code utilizing linear stability theory and the agreement was seen to be very good provided that the liquid film is not too thin. (C) 2002 American Institute of Physics.