• PLASMA DENSITY REDUCTION USING ELECTROMAGNETIC E×B FIELD DURING REENTRY FLIGHT

      Kim, Minkwan; Keidar, Michael; Boyd, Iain D.; Morris, David; University of Michigan; ElectroDynamic Applications Inc. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2007-10)
      As a vehicle reenters or flies at hypersonic speed through the atmosphere, the surrounding air is shock heated and becomes weakly ionized. The plasma layer thus formed causes a communication problem known as ‘radio blackout’. At sufficiently dense plasma conditions, the plasma layer either reflects or attenuates radio wave communications to and from the vehicle. In this paper, we propose an electromagnetic field configuration as a method to allow communication through the plasma layer. Theoretical models show that this may address the blackout problem under a range of conditions. Preliminary experimental results are also presented.