Russian Physicists Solve Re-entry Blackout

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The Technology Review (1/5) “Physics arXiv” blog reported, “When spacecraft return to Earth, one of the tensest parts of the mission is the radio black out that occurs as the vehicle re-enters the atmosphere” because of the “plasma sheath” generated by the high heat. “Today, Aleksandr Korotkevich at the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics in Moscow and a few buddies reveal a new way to get around this problem” by turning “the plasma sheath into a giant antenna,” a “simple and elegant approach” to prevent the blackouts. “The big interest is likely to come from the military. While the radio black-out is little more than an irritant for human missions, it is a serious limitation for military craft such as ballistic missiles or hypersonic planes.”

AmericaSpace Note: Thanks to AIAA’s Daily Launch for this.

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