Report from the Workshop on Communications Through Plasma During Hypersonic Flight
TEST SUPPORT SQUADRON ( 812TH) EDWARDS AFB CA
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This workshop concentrated on a specific problem how to communicate through the plasma sheath generated around an air vehicle at high Mach numbers. This plasma sheath is generated at about Mach number 10 and higher and introduces a high attenuation factor--often leading to full blackout--for standard radio frequencies used in telemetry and other communications. The attendees were either experts in this field or people actively involved in applications that require communications under these conditions. The workshop consisted of nine presentations followed by a two-hour discussion. The primary focus of this report is to present the conclusions reached during the directed discussion. The author hopes that these conclusions will aid in directing future research. The first order of business in the discussion was to establish standard applications, standard communication requirements, and priorities for both. Reception of GPS is the top priority as well as the most difficult problem. The second order of business was to discuss what research needs to be conducted. The overriding conclusion was Experimental data is needed to validate computational and mathematical models. The remaining discussion was on developing a list of potential solutions and the pros and cons of these solutions. At the end of the workshop, attendees were asked to vote on what solutions show the most promise. The vote shows that the expert opinion of this group strongly supports certain solutions and dismisses others as not worth pursuing.
- Research and Experimental Aircraft
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics