Accession Number:

AD0261519

Title:

ATMOSPHERIC BREAKDOWN

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

GENERAL DYNAMICS/CONVAIR SAN DIEGO CALIF

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1960-06-30

Pagination or Media Count:

1.0

Abstract:

The propagation of a microwave beam of high energy through the atmosphere is treated in connection with the problem of the breakdown of the atmosphere. A density of a few electrons is first considered. Under the influence of the field, these electrons are accelerated and, in colliding with the various atoms, pick up sufficient energy to undergo an ionizing collision with an atom. This process continues until the density of electrons is sufficently high to reflect the microwave beam. Ionization is thus the basic process of the buildup of density of electrons. The story, however, is not so simple. A number of electron loss mechanisms are present e.g. diffusion, attachment, and recombination processes. These processes are not all important simultaneously. In Section II, a simple theory of breakdown is described which is applied to attachmentcontrolled, diffusion-controlled breakdown. Sections III and IV we discuss breakdown times and the case of pulsed radiation. In Section V, a short discussion is presented of the theory. Author

Subject Categories:

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE