The development of near-space hypersonic vehicles is confronted with the ``blackout'' problem of the plasma sheath. As electronic density on the leeward surface is lower than that on the windward surface during the reentry process, a low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite may be used to mitigate this problem. In this study, the Iridium system, as a low-orbit relay satellite system, is utilized to evaluate the feasibility of using a LEO satellite. First, the incident angle of the electromagnetic waves radiating from the vehicles to various potential relay satellites is calculated by the STK software. Second, the transmission coefficient of the electromagnetic wave in the plasma is obtained by using the equivalent wave impedance method to present the attenuation effect of the plasma sheath channel. Finally, the attenuation coefficients of each channel between the aircraft and the potential satellite are used as a parameter to select the best relay in the reentry process of the vehicles. Simulation results show that the use of LEO satellites for relay can significantly reduce the communication interruption time during the reentry process by 32.6% for typical scenarios.
1. Starkey, R. P., "Hypersonic vehicle telemetry blackout analysis," Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 52, No. 2, 426-438, 2015. doi:10.2514/1.A32051
2. Sahadeo, R., et al., "Blackout analysis of small reentry vehicles," 53rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2015.
3. Gillman, E. D., J. E. Foster, and I. M. Blankson, "Review of leading approaches for mitigating hypersonic vehicle communications blackout and a method of ceramic particulate injection via cathode spot arcs for blackout mitigation," NASA/TM-2010-216220, E-17194 No. 20100008938, 1-25, 2010.
4. Rybak, J. P. and R. J. Churchill, "Progress in reentry communications," IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 7, No. 5, 879-894, 1971. doi:10.1109/TAES.1971.310328
5. Shi, L., B. Guo, Y. Liu, and J. Li, "Characteristic of plasma sheath channel and its effect on communication," Progress In Electromagnetic Research, Vol. 123, 321-336, 2012. doi:10.2528/PIER11110201
6. Charles, H. J., Recommendations from the workshop on communications through plasma during hypersonic flight, U.S. Air Force T&E Days 2009, AIAA2009-1718, 5, 2009.
7. Lemmer, K. M., "Experimental results for communications blackout amelioration using crossed electric and magnetic fields," Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 46, No. 6, 10, 2009. doi:10.2514/1.45490
8. He, G., Y. Zhan, and N. Ge, "Adaptive transmission method for alleviating the radio blackout problem," Progress In Electromagnetics Research, Vol. 152, 127-136, 2015. doi:10.2528/PIER15072702
9. Liu, Z., et al., "Effects of pressure variation on polarization properties of obliquely incident RF waves in re-entry plasma sheath," IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Vol. 43, No. 9, 3147-3154, 2015. doi:10.1109/TPS.2015.2461546
10. Liu, Z., et al., "Influence of plasma pressure fluctuation on RF wave propagation," Plasma Science and Technology, Vol. 18, No. 2, 131-137, 2016. doi:10.1088/1009-0630/18/2/06
11. Shi, L., L. Zhao, B. Yao, and X. Li, "Telemetry channel capacity assessment for reentry vehicles in plasma sheath environment," Plasma Sci. Technol., Vol. 17, No. 12, 1006-1012, 2015. doi:10.1088/1009-0630/17/12/05
12. Shi, L., et al., "Adaptive multistate markov channel modeling method for reentry dynamic plasma sheaths," IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Vol. 44, No. 7, 1083-1093, 2016. doi:10.1109/TPS.2016.2575082
13. Xie, K., et al., "Re-entry communication through a plasma sheath using standing wave detection and adaptive data rate control," Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 119, No. 2, 1-103, 2016.
14. Yang, M., et al., "Propagation of phase modulation signals in time-varying plasma," AIP Advances, Vol. 6, No. 5, 055110, 2016. doi:10.1063/1.4950694
15. Yang, M., X. Li, K. Xie, and Y. Liu, "Parasitic modulation of electromagnetic signals caused by time-varying plasma," Physics of Plasmas, Vol. 22, No. 2, 022120, 2015. doi:10.1063/1.4907904
16. Min, Y., et al., "A large volume uniform plasma generator for the experiments of electromagnetic wave propagation in plasma," Physics of Plasmas, Vol. 20, No. 1, 012101, 2013. doi:10.1063/1.4773906
17. Luo, J. and R. S. Blum, New Approaches for Cooperative Use of Multiple Antennas in AdHoc Wireless Networks, IEEE, New York, 2004.
18. Su, W. and X. Liu, "On optimum selection relaying protocols in cooperative wireless networks," IEEE Transactions on Communications, Vol. 58, No. 1, 52-57, 2010. doi:10.1109/TCOMM.2010.01.060691
19. Gao, X. and B. Jiang, "A matching approach to communicate through the plasma sheath surrounding a hypersonic vehicle," Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 117, No. 23, 233301, 2015. doi:10.1063/1.4921751
20. He, G., et al., "Measuring the time-varying channel characteristics of the plasma sheath from the reflected signal," IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Vol. 42, No. 12, 3975-3981, 2014. doi:10.1109/TPS.2014.2363840
21. Bai, B., et al., "Effects of reentry plasma sheath on the polarization properties of obliquely incident EM waves," IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Vol. 42, No. 10, 3365-3372, 2014. doi:10.1109/TPS.2014.2349009
22. Shi, L., B. W. Bai, Y. M. Liu, and X. P. Li, "Navigation antenna performance degradation caused by plasma sheath," Journal of Electromagnetic Waves and Applications, Vol. 27, No. 4, 518-528, 2013. doi:10.1080/09205071.2013.755110
23. Bai, B., X. Li, J. Xu, and Y. Liu, "Reflections of electromagnetic waves obliquely incident on a multilayer stealth structure with plasma and radar absorbing material," IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Vol. 43, No. 8, 2588-2597, 2015. doi:10.1109/TPS.2015.2447536