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The present invention relates to method and apparatus for contrail generation and the like. An earlier known method in use for contrail generation involves oil smoke trails produced by injecting liquid oil directly into the hot jet exhaust of an aircraft target vehicle. The oil vaporizes and recondenses being the aircraft producing a brilliant white trail. Oil smoke trail production requires a minimum of equipment; and, the material is low in cost and readily available. However, oil smoke requires a heat source to vaporize the liquid oil and not all aircraft target vehicles, notably towed targets, have such a heat source. Also, at altitudes above about 25,000 feet oil smoke visibility degrades rapidly.
The present invention is for a powder generator requiring no heat source to emit a "contrail" with sufficient visibility to aid in visual acquisition of an aircraft target vehicle and the like. The term "contrail" was adopted for convenience in identifying the visible powder trail of this invention. Aircraft target vehicles are used to simulate aerial threats for missile tests and often fly at altitudes between 5,000 and 20,000 feet at speeds of 300 and 400 knots or more. The present invention is also suitable for use in other aircraft vehicles to generate contrails or reflective screens for any desired purpose.