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Electromagnetic reduction of plasma density during atmospheric reentry and hypersonic flights

Electromagnetic reduction of plasma density during atmospheric reentry and hypersonic flights
Electromagnetic reduction of plasma density during atmospheric reentry and hypersonic flights
As a vehicle reenters or travels through the atmosphere at hypersonic velocities, the shock-heated air surrounding the vehicle becomes weakly ionized. This plasma layer causes an important systems operation problem known as communications blackout or radio blackout. At sufficiently high plasma density, the plasma layer either reflects or attenuates radiowave communications to and from the vehicle. In this paper, we study the application of electric and magnetic fields to reduce the plasma density. Specifically, an E ? B crossed-field configuration is proposed. Both analytical and numerical results suggest that significant reduction of the plasma density is possible at large altitudes. For instance, plasma density reduction by a factor of 10 is predicted in the case of 81 km and a magnetic field of about 0.1 T. Theoretical results suggest that significant reduction of the plasma density is possible, enabling radio communication across the plasma layer. The benefit of the reduced plasma density in terms of electromagnetic wave absorption across the plasma layer is estimated.
0022-4650
445-453
Keidar, Michael
b64ef706-1bfc-4b00-9340-832a7df50f53
Kim, Minkwan
578d742f-124b-4473-b775-4e5acb0df440
Boyd, Iain D.
030c1538-5ca6-42dd-906e-94d4546d7b30
Keidar, Michael
b64ef706-1bfc-4b00-9340-832a7df50f53
Kim, Minkwan
578d742f-124b-4473-b775-4e5acb0df440
Boyd, Iain D.
030c1538-5ca6-42dd-906e-94d4546d7b30

Keidar, Michael, Kim, Minkwan and Boyd, Iain D. (2008) Electromagnetic reduction of plasma density during atmospheric reentry and hypersonic flights. Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 45 (3), 445-453. (doi:10.2514/1.32147).

Record type: Article

Abstract

As a vehicle reenters or travels through the atmosphere at hypersonic velocities, the shock-heated air surrounding the vehicle becomes weakly ionized. This plasma layer causes an important systems operation problem known as communications blackout or radio blackout. At sufficiently high plasma density, the plasma layer either reflects or attenuates radiowave communications to and from the vehicle. In this paper, we study the application of electric and magnetic fields to reduce the plasma density. Specifically, an E ? B crossed-field configuration is proposed. Both analytical and numerical results suggest that significant reduction of the plasma density is possible at large altitudes. For instance, plasma density reduction by a factor of 10 is predicted in the case of 81 km and a magnetic field of about 0.1 T. Theoretical results suggest that significant reduction of the plasma density is possible, enabling radio communication across the plasma layer. The benefit of the reduced plasma density in terms of electromagnetic wave absorption across the plasma layer is estimated.

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AIAA-32147-432.pdf - Version of Record
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Published date: May 2008
Organisations: Astronautics Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 405043
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/405043
ISSN: 0022-4650
PURE UUID: 391d3044-eded-463c-9c51-eb833d07755f

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Date deposited: 26 Jan 2017 16:53
Last modified: 09 Dec 2019 19:17

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