THE INFLUENCE OF SOLAR ILLUMINATION OF X-BAND ANTENNA VOLTAGE BREAKDOWN PHENOMENA.
Physical sciences research papers,
AIR FORCE CAMBRIDGE RESEARCH LABS L G HANSCOM FIELD MASS
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Among the results noted from a supersonic flight of a Nike-Cajun Rocket were 1 the suggestion of influence of solar illumination on the breakdown of an X-band slot antenna, and 2 the presence of anomalous high-altitude breakdown. To corroborate these findings, Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories launched a second Nike-Cajun Rocket from Wallops Island, Virginia, on 2 October, 1967. A strong influence of solar radiation on both the breakdown probability and duration was confirmed. The anomalous high-altitude breakdown phenomenon was absent. This report presents a statistical analysis of the voltage breakdown results gathered from the second flight, and develops a possible explanation for the observed phenomena based upon local emission of photoelectrons under solar illumination. The expected yield of electrons is shown to be strongly dependent upon the surface work function due to selective filtering of sunlight by the ozone layer. Author
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