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In order to design a radar to detect, track, and identify unknown targets, models of the expected electromagnetic scattering properties of the targets must be developed. This communication begins with a qualitative discussion of interactions between an incident wave and a plasma-clad body in order to give the general reader a heuristic understanding of the problem background. Then rigorous calculations of normalized backscatter cross section for a spherical, plasma-clad body, and the limitations of this model, are presented in context with earlier background material. A plasma simulation technique is described as a means for modeling a diverse range of reentry bodies and plasmas that are not amenable to analytic solution. The theoretical analysis can be used to validate the simulation technique in a spherical configuration after which the technique can be used to simulate many other plasma shapes around a variety of bodies.
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