Accession Number : ADA476971


Title :   Theoretical and Observational Studies of Meteor Interactions with the Ionosphere


Corporate Author : LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LAB NM


Personal Author(s) : Colestock, P. ; Close, S. ; Zinn, John


Full Text : http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA476971


Report Date : 01 JUN 2006


Pagination or Media Count : 31


Abstract : An intense flux of small-mass meteors has been seen in large-aperture radar scattering for many years. At high altitudes, these meteoroids routinely damage orbiting satellites by both direct impact as well as spacecraft charging. This flux is believed to make up the major portion of mass flux from space. At lower altitudes, meteoroids affect ionospheric and thermospheric processes by depositing heavy metallic atoms, ions and dust. Preliminary analysis of meteors has shown that meteoroids can disrupt and halt radio communication by creating plasma density structures that are several orders of magnitude greater than those seen in the background ionosphere. To understand this phenomenon better, we have undertaken a theoretical and an observational campaign that is designed to determine empirically the mass flux coupled with a detailed plasma expansion model of the ablating material as the meteors disintegrate in the ionosphere. We will discuss our findings to date as well as our expected future program development in this area.


Descriptors :   *IONOSPHERE , *IONS , *METALS , *METEOROIDS , *METEORS , *SPACECRAFT CHARGING , ABLATION , ORBITS , DENSITY , SCATTERING , INTERACTIONS , FLUX(RATE) , PLASMAS(PHYSICS) , STRUCTURES , ATOMS , DUST , MASS FLOW , RADAR REFLECTIONS , ARTIFICIAL SATELLITES , HIGH ALTITUDE , COMMUNICATION AND RADIO SYSTEMS , RADAR SIGNALS , APERTURES , LOW ALTITUDE


Subject Categories : ASTRONOMY
      ATMOSPHERIC PHYSICS
      ASTRONAUTICS


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE