REComm- ReEntry Communications system

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8718-05-C-0050
Agency Tracking Number: F051-217-2066
Amount: $99,412.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: AF05-217
Solicitation Number: 2005.1
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 131460, Ann Arbor, MI, 48113
DUNS: 610511334
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 David Morris
 Senior Engineer
 (734) 786-1434
Business Contact
 David Morris
Title: Senior Engineer
Phone: (734) 786-1434
Research Institution
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.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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