X-RAY AIR DENSITY DETERMINATION (X-RADD).
Final rept., May 63-Feb 64,
GIANNINI CONTROLS CORP DUARTE CALIF
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The report describes the theoretical analyses, component selection, subsystem integration and tests of a breadboard system used to measure air density by scattering X-rays from air molecules. This technique provides a direct means of measuring air density. The eventual application is density measurement for energy management of re-entru vehicles. Upon re-entry, with the increase in air density there is a corresponding increase in the number of backscattered X-ray photons. The breadboard system was tested in a 41-foot diameter altitude sphere at NASA, Langley Research Center. Altitudes from sea level to 200,000 feet were simulated. The results of the test indicate that this technique is indeed useful for this application. Problem areas were uncovered and, using the experience and components available, development of a flyable system can now be accomplished. An excellent testbed for a flyable system is the X-15 aircraft. Author