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Instrument reflections and scene amplitude modulation in a polychromatic microwave quadrature interferometer

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3 Author(s)
Dobson, Chris C. ; Propulsion Research Center, NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama 35812 ; Jones, Jonathan E. ; Chavers, D.Gregory

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A polychromatic microwave quadrature interferometer has been characterized using several laboratory plasmas. Reflections between the transmitter and the receiver have been observed, and the effects of including reflection terms in the data reduction equation have been examined. An error analysis which includes the reflections, modulation of the scene beam amplitude by the plasma, and simultaneous measurements at two frequencies has been applied to the empirical database, and the results are summarized. For reflection amplitudes around 10%, the reflection terms were found to reduce the calculated error bars for electron density measurements by about a factor of 2. The impact of amplitude modulation is also quantified. In the complete analysis, the mean error bar for high-density measurements is 7.5%, and the mean phase shift error for low-density measurements is 1.2°.

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Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:75 ,  Issue: 3 )