Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Charlton Lewis, PhD.


In this study radar cross sections were calculated for an axial symmetric 6-degree half angle blunted cone with a nose radius of 2.5 cm and length of 3.5 m including and excluding the effects of an atmospheric hypersonic plasma sheath for altitudes of 40 km, 60 km and 80 km and speeds of 5 km/s, 6 km/s and 7 km/s. LAURA, was used to determine the plasma characteristics for the hypersonic flight conditions using a 11-species 2-temperature chemical model. Runs were accomplished first with a super-catalytic surface boundary condition without a turbulence model and then for some cases with an non-reactive surface boundary condition where a mentor-SST turbulence model was used. The resulting plasmas heath properties were used in a Finite Difference Time Domain code to calculate the cones radar cross section both with and without the effects of the plasma sheath. The largest increase in radar cross section (RCS) was found for the 60 km7km/s case with an increase of 3.84%. A possible small decrease in RCS was found for the 40 km altitude 5 km/s and 80km 7 km/s cases on the order of 0.1%.

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