Instrumentation considerations for a bow shock radiation experiment

D. A. Levin, R. T. Loda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Innovative Science and Technology Office is in the planning stages of a sounding rocket experiment. The primary purpose of the proposed experiment will be to passively measure the optical radiation, produced during the boost phase, in the aerodynamically heated bow shock. An assortment of onboard spectrometers and radiometers will gather data from observations made looking forward, along the direction of flight. Spectral and radiometric measurements will be made for altitudes between approximately 40-100 km, and for rocket velocities in the range of 3-4 km/sec. This velocity and altitude profile is different than those studied previously. In earlier work, experimental data has been obtained only under reentry conditions, which correspond to higher velocities. As a preliminary to the design of the instrumentation for this experiment we have been involved in a series of flow field computations in order to make signal strength predictions. The results of these computations are discussed in this paper. These results are then used to develop some of the parameters that will be needed for designing the instrumentation package proposed for this experiment. The reasoning behind some of the specific systems choices will also be elucidated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-236
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Jun 2 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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