REComm- ReEntry Communications system
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
We propose to solve the re-entry blackout problem through the application of electric and magnetic fields to control the hypersonic plasma layer. REComm consists of an embedded electromagnet integrated beneath a spacecraft's antenna and electrodes near the antenna. Ion acceleration in the quasi-neutral plasma layer will result from crossed electric and magnetic fields, similar to the effects used for electric propulsion. This acceleration will decrease the plasma density near the antenna sufficiently to allow communication. REComm will be lightweight and have minimal impact on the vehicle aerodynamic characteristics. Phase-I will consist of computer modeling using, with modifications, the DMSC hypersonic flow code MONACO. This will provide accurate knowledge of the plasma properties which can then be processed analytically and with the PIC code XOOPIC to determine the field magnitudes and configurations required. Simulation results will be benchmarked against the RAM-C re-entry plasma measurement experiment. The objective will be a system that causes sufficient plasma density depletion to allow L-band and S-band communication. Phase-I will culminate with a practical design which will be built and tested in Phase-II, using available Hall thrusters to generate the plasma and interferometry plasma diagnostic equipment to measure the success of the REComm system.
Small Business Information at Submission:
ELECTRODYNAMIC APPLICATIONS, INC.
P.O. Box 131460 Ann Arbor, MI 48113
Number of Employees: