Radio Communication Through The Hypersonic Plasma Sheath

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8718-05-C-0054
Agency Tracking Number: F051-217-1063
Amount: $99,985.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: AF05-217
Solicitation Number: 2005.1
Small Business Information
20 New England Business Center, Andover, MA, 01810
DUNS: 073800062
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Hartmut Legner
 Principal Research Scientist
 (978) 689-0003
Business Contact
 B. Green
Title: President, R&D Operations
Phone: (978) 689-0003
Research Institution
Hypersonic transatmospheric vehicles will become an important component of operations for the Air Force in the future. These new maneuvering aerospace vehicles will encounter many technology hurdles that were never faced by ballistic re-entry vehicles. The trajectory times will be thousands rather than tens of seconds and vehicles will not only descend (ballistically) but ascend and descend periodically during the extended flight times. Such changes will have profound effects on the vehicle performance, producing complex flowfields over three-dimensional surfaces that may either be laminar or turbulent or relaminarized. These scenarios have the potential of creating very complex electron density distributions over RF sensors during the hypersonic flight leading to plasma sheathing and the so-called "blackout problem" of reentry. In order to mitigate these undesirable effects, an innovative approach to plasma sheathing control is proposed. We will evaluate the reduction of the blackout problem in three unique ways: control boundary layer transition (BLT), inject additives into the boundary layer, and incorporate chemical species to scavenge electrons. In Phase I, these techniques will be evaluated using Physical Sciences Inc.'s reentry physics suite of codes and plasma sheathing methods will be designed. These designs will be fabricated and ground tested in Phase II.

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

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government