Sub-THz signals’ propagation model in hypersonic plasma sheath under different atmospheric conditions

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One of the aims for modern hypersonic cruise flight is hypersonic global reach. The length of route for such flights could be up to thousands of kilometers. The atmospheric conditions on the route are complicated. On the other hand, hypersonic flights used to suffer from communication blackout. The sub-THz communication is considered as a potential solution to the ‘blackout’. In the present study the propagation for sub-THz signals in hypersonic plasma sheaths was modeled under different atmospheric conditions. According to the study, the electron density and the electron collision frequency near the onboard antenna linearly increase with the atmospheric mass density around the vehicle, hence the attenuation of sub-THz signals in hypersonic plasma sheaths increases with the atmospheric mass density. The impact led by the atmospheric temperature is ignorable. Based on the study a new sub-THz signals’ propagation model was developed, which could be utilized for quick estimation for signal propagation under different atmospheric conditions. The geographical difference of signal propagation over the whole globe was obtained with the new model. The results showed that the signal attenuation in plasma sheaths varies with latitude and longitude. The maximum signal attenuation occurs in Alaska, Canada and Russia.

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This work was supported by Jiangxi Postdoctoral (Grant No. 2013KY43) and Natural Science Foundation of Jiangxi Province (Grant No. 20151BAB207004).

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Correspondence to Xiaohua Deng.

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Yuan, K., Wang, Y., Shen, L. et al. Sub-THz signals’ propagation model in hypersonic plasma sheath under different atmospheric conditions. Sci. China Inf. Sci. 60, 113301 (2017).

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  • sub-THz communication
  • hypersonic cruise flight
  • communication blackout
  • plasma sheath
  • signal propagation model
  • signal attenuation