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Title: Effects of rocket exhaust products in the thermosphere and ionsphere

Abstract

This paper reviews the current state of understanding of the problem of ionospheric F-layer depletions produced by chemical effects of the exhaust gases from large rockets, with particular emphasis on the Heavy Lift Launch Vehicles (HLLV) proposed for use in the construction of solar power satellites. The currently planned HLLV flight profile calls for main second-stage propulsion confined to altitudes below 124 km, and a brief orbit circularization maneuver at apogee. The second stage engines deposit 9 x 10/sup 31/ H/sub 2/O and H/sub 2/ molecules between 74 and 124 km. Model computations show that they diffuse gradually into the ionospheric F region, where they lead to weak but widespread and persistent depletions of ionization and continuous production of H atoms. The orbit circularization burn deposits 9 x 10/sup 29/ exhaust molecules at about 480-km altitude. These react rapidly with the F2 region 0/sup +/ ions, leading to a substantial (factor-of-three) reduction in plasma density, which extends over a 1000- by 2000-km region and persists for four to five hours. For purposes of computer model verification, a computation is included representing the Skylab I launch, for which observational data exist. The computations and data are compared, and the computer modelmore » is described.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos Scientific Lab., NM (USA)
OSTI Identifier:
5555953
Report Number(s):
LA-8233-MS
TRN: 80-006031
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-ENG-36
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; F REGION; ION DENSITY; SPACE VEHICLES; EXHAUST GASES; AIR POLLUTION; ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS; HYDROGEN; IONIZATION; ROCKETS; WATER VAPOR; CRYOGENIC FLUIDS; EARTH ATMOSPHERE; ELEMENTS; FLUIDS; GASEOUS WASTES; GASES; IONOSPHERE; NONMETALS; PLANETARY IONOSPHERES; POLLUTION; VAPORS; WASTES; 640201* - Atmospheric Physics- Auroral, Ionospheric, & Magetospheric Phenomena

Citation Formats

Zinn, J., and Sutherland, C.D. Effects of rocket exhaust products in the thermosphere and ionsphere. United States: N. p., 1980. Web. doi:10.2172/5555953.
Zinn, J., & Sutherland, C.D. Effects of rocket exhaust products in the thermosphere and ionsphere. United States. doi:10.2172/5555953.
Zinn, J., and Sutherland, C.D. Fri . "Effects of rocket exhaust products in the thermosphere and ionsphere". United States. doi:10.2172/5555953. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/5555953.
@article{osti_5555953,
title = {Effects of rocket exhaust products in the thermosphere and ionsphere},
author = {Zinn, J. and Sutherland, C.D.},
abstractNote = {This paper reviews the current state of understanding of the problem of ionospheric F-layer depletions produced by chemical effects of the exhaust gases from large rockets, with particular emphasis on the Heavy Lift Launch Vehicles (HLLV) proposed for use in the construction of solar power satellites. The currently planned HLLV flight profile calls for main second-stage propulsion confined to altitudes below 124 km, and a brief orbit circularization maneuver at apogee. The second stage engines deposit 9 x 10/sup 31/ H/sub 2/O and H/sub 2/ molecules between 74 and 124 km. Model computations show that they diffuse gradually into the ionospheric F region, where they lead to weak but widespread and persistent depletions of ionization and continuous production of H atoms. The orbit circularization burn deposits 9 x 10/sup 29/ exhaust molecules at about 480-km altitude. These react rapidly with the F2 region 0/sup +/ ions, leading to a substantial (factor-of-three) reduction in plasma density, which extends over a 1000- by 2000-km region and persists for four to five hours. For purposes of computer model verification, a computation is included representing the Skylab I launch, for which observational data exist. The computations and data are compared, and the computer model is described.},
doi = {10.2172/5555953},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1980},
month = {2}
}