HyPASS- Hypersonic Plasma Adaptive Sensor System
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
The plasma generated around low altitude hypersonic vehicles is a serious impediment to vehicle communications. The development of plasma mitigation solutions requires the ability to accurately measure the plasma around a vehicle to quantify both the plasma levels requiring mitigation and the efficacy of the mitigation system. Recent developments in high frequency circuit technology and "system-on-a-chip" processors has led to the development of network analyzer-type systems that are small and light enough to consider flying on hypersonic vehicles, which opens up the possibility of a new type of plasma sensor technology. We propose to develop a system using two patch antennas attached to frequency adaptive network analyzer hardware to measure plasma parameters. Transmitting and receiving adaptively tuned RF signals, the system will measure the plasma density, and location of the plasma relative to the spacecraft, and provide some measure of the sheath profile. The system will be able to provide real time feedback about local plasma parameters to experiment monitors and the communication system, and to do so efficiently in terms of power, mass, and volume. With antennas embedded in surface coatings requiring no external electrical contact it will provide this with minimal interference to hypersonic vehicle aerodynamics.
Small Business Information at Submission:
ELECTRODYNAMIC APPLICATIONS, INC.
P.O. Box 131460 Ann Arbor, MI 48113
Number of Employees: