A ROCKET BORNE AIR DENSITY MEASUREMENT SYSTEM UTILIZING ELECTRON-BREMSSTRAHLUNG: DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT.
Scientific rept. no. 1, Sep 61-Jul 65,
PARAMETRICS INC WALTHAM MASS
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Research and development concluding with the design and construction of a rocket borne air density measurement system is reported. This system utilizes detection of bremsstrahlung X-rays generated by injection of an electron beam from the rocket into the atmosphere. At the high altitudes at which this system is designed to operate, between 100 and 200 km, the detected X-ray flux is linearly related to ambient air density. The theoretical treatment of this system is presented, and laboratory experiments carried out at A.F.C.R.L. to verify this treatment are reported. An operational description of the rocket data retrieval system, design considerations associated with incorporation of the electron-bremsstrahlung method into a rocket borne package, and the density-calibration of the actual flight package in the N.A.S.A. Langley 60 foot diameter sphere, are presented. It is concluded that the system operates as theoretically predicted, and that further research on the possibility of utilizing this technique to measure atmospheric parameters other than density, such as the argonnitrogen ratio, is warranted. Author