Antenna Design, Modeling, and Space Flight Validation Enabling Operational Systems that Enhance Scattering of Trapped Energetic Electrons in the Inner Magnetosphere
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VP, South Group
VP, South Group
AbstractDoD has identified the potential posed by a hostile nation detonating a nuclear device at high altitude as a very damaging asymmetrical threat. Such a high altitude nuclear detonation (HAND) event can result in severe damage to our nations' critical space assets, as well as to our commercial space infrastructure. Because the energetic electrons produced by HAND can become trapped in the Earth's inner magnetosphere and form new radiation belts hazardous to space systems that can last for many months, replenishment of replacement satellites into their operational orbits may not be possible unless methods are available to remediate the elevated environment. AFRL scientists in concert with academic researchers have developed a promising method that could reduce the natural lifetime of HAND belts from months to days, allowing dramatically improved space system survivability and ensure the continuation of space-based services. This method involves enhancing the electron pitch-angle scattering rate via cyclotron-resonant wave-particle interactions. The primary objective of this effort is to identify issues of implementation and provide design solutions for the injection of waves into the inner magnetosphere from a space-based platform at frequencies of interest for stimulating the pitch-angle scattering of energetic electrons.
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