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Re: Plasma mirror

At 12:40 PM 6/19/96, Timothy van der Linden wrote:
>Kelly wrote:
>>Seems the navy lab is now testing a plasma mirror for use in ship board
>>radar systems.  (Aviation Week June 10/ p 50)  The radar would focus on the
>>stearable plasma sheet.  The test sheet was 1 cm thick and 60 x 60 cm
>>square.  They are working on upgrading it to a 1.2 - 2 meter square.  It
>>bounces microwaves in the 5-20 GHz range and they think similar system
>>could work up to 50 GHz.  The current unit needs 2 amps and 20 kilovolts to
>>keep it runing.
>I assume this is a stationary plasma field, that is kept at the ship. --

On the ship yes, stationary no.  It is used as the moving reflector that
sweeps the beem back and forth.  The artical mentioned it can re-aim in 10
milisec.  (I think.)

>- How fast would such a sheet render useless after the power has been cut off?

Almost as fast as it can be reaimed I'ld guess.

>When we would use it as retro mirror, it NEEDS to be loose from the starship.

I was thinking the ions would be blown out of the plasma sheet as they
interact with the beam.  Since the beam presure would be far greater than
the holding magnetic fields (and we wouldn't want to drag the ship
forward).  The problem would be restoring the plasma as fast as it is lost.
I don't have a feel for what the mass flow rates would need to be.  Then
again we should be able to use the lost plasma as source of thrust.

>We need to scale this thing up to many hundreds of square meters and several
>meters thick (the radiation pressure is much higher).

Yeah, you'ld have a trade off between focusing the microwaves to a small
tight area that would fry  out anything near it.  Or a bigger more defuse
area that would be harder to control.

>>Interesting hey?
>Yes, are you clearvoyant?

Who me?  No I just.. <sit up straight thats bad for your posture>


What can I say.  Great minds think alike.



Kelly Starks                       Internet: kgstar@most.fw.hac.com
Sr. Systems Engineer
Magnavox Electronic Systems Company
(Magnavox URL: http://www.fw.hac.com/external.html)