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Summary form only given. To study the effects of rocket engine burns in the ionosphere, Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) plans to conduct the second Charged Aerosol Release Experiment (CARE II) using a solid rocket motor burning in the ionosphere. The measurements of the rocket includes plume optical emissions with ground cameras, and radio wave scatter with HF, VHF, UHF and higher frequency radars. The exhaust vapors initiate plasma turbulence in the ionosphere that can scatter the radar waves launched from ground transmitters. Hypersonic exhaust flow impacting the ionospheric plasma may yield an electromagnetic pulse that is detectable using electric field booms on an instrumented section of the rocket. If the exhaust cloud itself passes over in situ detectors, increased ion-acoustic wave turbulence, enhanced neutral and plasma densities, enhanced ion temperatures, and magnetic field perturbations are expected to be detected. Plasma theory has been used to predict the nature of the ion waves excited by charged dust beams streaming across or along the geomagnetic field in ionospheric. These waves could be generated by plasma instabilities during the aerosol release experiment. The injection speed of the dust and gas is generally larger than the ion thermal speed in the background ionosphere. Because the dust grains can be charged negatively by plasma collection from the ionosphere, the dust could act like a charged beam that excites instabilities in the background plasma. The theory is applied to relatively early time scales (on the order of 0.1 to 1 seconds) in the dust-gas cloud expansion. Wave frequencies larger than the ion gyro frequency are considered, and collisions with neutrals are included.
Date of Conference: 26-30 June 2011