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This content will become publicly available on February 27, 2019

Title: Plasma Parameters From Reentry Signal Attenuation

This study presents the application of a theoretically developed method that provides plasma parameter solution space information from measured RF attenuation that occurs during reentry. The purpose is to provide reentry plasma parameter information from the communication signal attenuation. The theoretical development centers around the attenuation and the complex index of refraction. The methodology uses an imaginary index of the refraction matching algorithm with a tolerance to find suitable solutions that satisfy the theory. The imaginary matching terms are then used to determine the real index of refraction resulting in the complex index of refraction. Then a filter is used to reject nonphysical solutions. Signal attenuation-based plasma parameter properties investigated include the complex index of refraction, plasma frequency, electron density, collision frequency, propagation constant, attenuation constant, phase constant, complex plasma conductivity, and electron mobility. RF plasma thickness attenuation is investigated and compared to the literature. Finally, similar plasma thickness for a specific signal attenuation can have different plasma properties.
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  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0093-3813; 651984
Grant/Contract Number:
AC04-94AL85000; NA0003525
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 46; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 0093-3813
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; attenuation; electromagnetic propagation in plasma media; plasma properties; refraction
OSTI Identifier: