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Proceedings Paper

Ultraviolet emissions quantified by rocket payloads
Author(s): Deborah A. Levin; Leonard H. Caveny; David M. Mann
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Paper Abstract

Plumes and aerodynamic shock structures of rockets produce prominent UV and IR emissions. The extensive literature explains many aspects of the IR emission: whereas the UV emissions are less well understood and have only recently been quantified. Hypervelocity missiles in the continuum and near-continuum atmosphere produce high temperature shocklayers (i.e., 8000 K for speeds of 5 km/sec). Atmospheric molecular oxygen and nitrogen react and the products are excited to produce nitrogen oxide molecular - band radiation. Previous papers describe two rocket flight experiments that obtained in-situ radiometric UV data with onboard instruments directly viewing the shocklayer and plume regions. An example of data obtained were the well defined spectra of NO ((Gamma) ,(Beta) ) emission with signal strengths on the order of 0.0014 W/cm2sr for a rocket velocity of 5 km/sec at 70 km. This radiance was 15 times stronger than recent theoretical predictions and is observable using present detector systems. The UV radiance and background data that has been collected from these rocket flights and the LACE/UVPI satellite program implies a systems utility. In addition, a third experiment is being planned to extend the velocity to 7 km/sec. Scanning spectrometers and photometers will observe the shock plume interactions. Angular scanning is being included to define the structures of the far field plume. The area of greatest uncertainty and potential opportunity will be described in terms of the mechanistic understanding.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 January 1993
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1764, Ultraviolet Technology IV, (22 January 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.140868
Show Author Affiliations
Deborah A. Levin, Institute for Defense Analysis (United States)
Leonard H. Caveny, Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (United States)
David M. Mann, U.S. Army Research Office (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1764:
Ultraviolet Technology IV
Robert E. Huffman, Editor(s)

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