OPERATION HARDTACK. Project 8.2. Thermal Radiation from High-Altitude Bursts
AIR FORCE CAMBRIDGE RESEARCH LABS HANSCOM AFB MA
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The objective of this project was to improve the basic understanding of the physics of high altitude nuclear detonations by measuring the thermal radiation from the high-altitude Shots Yucca, Orange, and Teak. Spectral irradiances obtained by distant airborne instrumentation are presented as a function of time in four wavelength bands. The measurements are extrapolated to an assumed point source, and these generalized results are discussed. Simple scaling laws are not sufficient to predict the thermal radiation from a high- altitude nuclear detonation. In particular, the power radiated in the infrared exceeds by a large factor that expected from a black body of dimensions comparable with the visible fireball. This implies the existence of some mechanism that is producing a greater proportion of infrared radiation than would be obtained using the equilibrium black body theory. Keywords Thermal Radiation High Altitude Bursts Radiation Measurements Atmospheric Transmission.