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Modeling Plasma Effects on Radar Cross Section of Reentry Vehicles

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3 Author(s)
Mitchell, F.H. ; IBM Federal Systems Division Space Systems Center in Huntsville, Alabama, USA ; Mahaffey, W.R. ; Jacob, R.F.

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.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Journal of Research and Development  (Volume:13 ,  Issue: 4 )