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Gemini Reentry Communications Experiment

Gemini Reentry Communications Experiment

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Published by Bob Andrepont

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Published by: Bob Andrepont on Feb 26, 2011
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U75-75472
Onclas
00/98
27950
EXPERIMENT
ByLyle C.
Schroeder
NASA
Langley Research CenterLangley
Station,
Hampton,
Va.
Presented
at the
Third
Symposium
on
Plasma
Sheath,
Classified
Session
CLASSIflEO DOCUMENTTITLE
UNCIASSIFI
Boston, Massachusetts
September
21-2J, 1965
 
GEMINI 'REENTRY COMMUNICATIONS EXPERIMENT
ByLyleC.SchroederNASALangley Research Center
SUMMARY
A method of overcoming reentry blackout' by injecting water into theflow field
was
demonstrated during
the
Gemini-Titan
3
mission. Signifi-
cant
levels of signal-strength increase corresponding to the early portion
of
the
water-injection sequence were received
on UHF
telemetry
(230A
Me)
and
UHF
voice
(296.8
Me)
frequencies. Enhancement
of
C-band beacon
(5690
Me)
signal was observed corresponding to the latter portions of the water-injection sequence. UHF signal recovered during water injection exhibited
an
antenna pattern beamed in the radial direction of injection from thespacecraft.
-
INTRODUCTION
Thecommunications blackout problemhasbeen studiedforseveral yearsby Project RAM (radio attenuation measurement) at the Langley ResearchCenter.
Early
work was
devoted
to attempts to understand the problem andto arrive
at a
method
of
predicting radio-signal attenuation levels
(refs.
1
to 5)J
whereas much
of the
more recent work
has
been directed toward devel-opment
of
methods
of
alleviating communications blackout
and
measurement
of
attenuation-sensitive parameters under simulated and actual flight condi-tions
(refs.
6 to
12).
A
summary
of
Project
RAM
work
to
date
is
available
in
references 5 and 13-
One
of themost promising techniques investigatedforcommunications-
blackout
alleviation has been that of material addition to the ionized flow
'iffnttf*.m
 
field.
-jdgpfiHBB'itive
reduces
the
concentration
of
electrons
in the
ionized
WwwwwP*
media through droplet surface recombination, cooling, and electrophilic
mechanisms
to
cause
a
reduction
in
signal
attenuation. Tests
conducted
on
a 1-inch-nose-radius model immersed in a rocket-exhaust plasma have shownthat water addition causes complete restoration of the attenuated signal(ref.
10).
Similar
results were found during
a
flight test
of a
^-inch-nose-radius model
(ref.
11).
In the tests cited, water injected in a sectorof the
flow
field caused complete omnidirectional signal recovery for verymoderate
flow
rates. This signal restoration
in the
tests
led to the
con-
clusion
thatthematerial-addition techniquewasfeasiblefor aspacecraft
of the
shape
and
size
of
Gemini.Some
of the
advantages
in
testing
the
material-addition technique
on a
Gemini spacecraft are as follows:
G^^^^^^^^^ractical
vehicle
in
that
it
is
a manned, blunt spacecraft with an ablative heat shield; the size ofGemini is 10 times that of the last RAM flight-test vehicle; the reentryvelocity of Gemini is
about
7000
ft/sec higher than that of the last RAMflight-test, vehicle;
and the
information
is
timely
for
application
to
future
space
reentries.However, many conditions were not favorable for conducting the experi-ment on the Gemini-3 spacecraft. The most important of these were (l) theUHF
antenna
was located far from the injection nozzles in the aft end of thespacecraft
in a
separated flow region,
and (2)
spacecraft flight parameters,
particularly
roll
attitude
(upon
which signal recovery level
is
highly
dependent), were such that the water-injection window was not pointed towardground-receiving stations.
-
2 -

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