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Industry Rumor: Hypersonic Stealth funded in 2006?

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posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 08:14 AM
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Industry rumor has it that a hypersonic "x" vehicle tech demonstrator utilizing plasma fields for both heat/shockwave reduction and radar cross section reduction (yes, plasma stealth) could recieve funding in 2006.
Apparent method for this is projecting high power microwaves in front of the vehicle as it travels at hypersonic speeds.

This would be a Future Strike concept vehicle slated for deployment by 2025, this is NOT for the Future Strike/Interim Bomber project of which the FB-22 and FB-23 are competing and slated for deployment in 2015.

Again, this is an industry rumor and I have nothing concrete to base this on, but it came from a fairly reliable rumor source.

[edit on 16-10-2005 by intelgurl]




posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 08:19 AM
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Originally posted by intelgurl
Apparent method for this is projecting high power microwaves in front of the vehicle as it travels at hypersonic speeds.


Wow, any clue as to the powerplant?



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 08:43 AM
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Originally posted by FredT
Wow, any clue as to the powerplant?

Unfortunately, that's about all I heard - It certainly opens the mind up to all sorts of exotic possibilities though, doesn't it?



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 09:29 AM
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Very interesting, Intergurl, please keep us updated when you receive new information about this.

NASA recently awarded a $15M contract for hypersonic propulsion development: www.nasa.gov...


[edit on 10-16-2005 by Zion Mainframe]



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 10:22 AM
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The entire subject of plasma research is an interesting emerging field of technology. Plasma is the fourth state of matter, and is not very well understood.

The reduction of heat/shockwave is the new part of the applications, of which there are many possibilities. The reduction of radar cross-section is the old part, and is already in use. The Soviet Union offered the application for export in 1999. The French are rumoured to have it operational. So you can imagine what the USAF might have.

The original usage of the plasma reduction, was inside the radome on the nose of the aircraft. (Aviation Week-Soviet plasma technology) This antenna in a pointy box, is a huge source of radar return. You can see why, it's a device tuned for radar frequencies. The Soviets found that generating a field of plasma inside the radome cancelled the radar return.

I can hear what you're thinking, "Doesn't this ruin the use of your own radar?". Well, yes and no. You can turn the plasma off when you want to use your own radar, and until then, you are in stealth mode. The other option, is to use a radar with a higher frequency than your opponent.

Plasma fields blank out microwaves, but only frequencies that are below a threshold of the type of plasma being used. If your plasma field is tuned for something inbetween the two, one will work, and the other is blind.

As with many other emerging technologies, computing power and speed will be the key to taking advantage of the new capabilities.

Imagine an aircraft, with both plasma stealth, and visible light shifting surfaces. It mimics the background behind it, making it look like that alien in the "Predator" movie. And if it's discovered by radar, it turns on it's plasma shield, and a gently glowing bubble of energy surrounds an object that isn't there. The radar can't see it, your eyeballs can't see it, and it has little or no infra-red signature. Picture that at high Mach speed, moving your way, in the dark.

Plasma links:
www.space.com...
www.plasmas.org...
www.aeronautics.ru...

[edit on 16-10-2005 by ZPE StarPilot]



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 11:40 AM
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Hmm, I wonder how they'd use it to reduce the shockwaves - I suppose they can change the 'effective' shape of the wing through the stages of flight from subsonic to hypersonic, so at high speed, the leading edge is much sharper.

NASA, Russia, and France have research on it that I know of, some below:



Blunt leading edge in supersonic flow, strong leading edge shockwave as shown by thick black lines



Blunt leading edge in supersonic flow, but with plasma jet injected into flow upstream to change effective leading edge - as you can see the flow thinks the leading edge is much sharper than it is, as shown by the sharper angler of the mach cone.

Also, notice the offset from the actual leading edge to the shockwave in comparison to figA above.

Here is a good linky on the thread topic:

www.spacedaily.com...

[edit on 16-10-2005 by kilcoo316]

[edit on 16-10-2005 by kilcoo316]



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 03:09 PM
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Originally posted by intelgurl
....utilizing plasma fields for both heat/shockwave reduction and radar cross section reduction (yes, plasma stealth)....


Is not this a contradiction within most known military use discussions concerning plasma stealth and heat reduction, in that the use of plasma stealth 1) requires an adnormal amount of energy [energy source] to function, and 2) that theoretically, the generation of a plasma stealth field would emit huge amounts of heat, hence the glow-in-the-dark effect, etc?





seekerof

[edit on 16-10-2005 by Seekerof]



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 03:49 PM
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Originally posted by Seekerof

Originally posted by intelgurl
....utilizing plasma fields for both heat/shockwave reduction and radar cross section reduction (yes, plasma stealth)....


Is not this a contradiction within most known military use discussions concerning plasma stealth and heat reduction, in that the use of plasma stealth 1) requires an adnormal amount of energy [energy source] to function, and 2) that theoretically, the generation of a plasma stealth field would emit huge amounts of heat, hence the glow-in-the-dark effect, etc?


seekerof

[edit on 16-10-2005 by Seekerof]


Subsonically, its possible plasma may increase the heat emissions, but hypersonically things could be totally different. Consider the temperatures the SR-71 operates at.

Although whether they can reduce it to below easily detectable levels is another matter entirely.



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 06:20 PM
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Originally posted by Seekerof

Originally posted by intelgurl
....utilizing plasma fields for both heat/shockwave reduction and radar cross section reduction (yes, plasma stealth)....


Is not this a contradiction within most known military use discussions concerning plasma stealth and heat reduction, in that the use of plasma stealth 1) requires an adnormal amount of energy [energy source] to function, and 2) that theoretically, the generation of a plasma stealth field would emit huge amounts of heat, hence the glow-in-the-dark effect, etc?



Seeker,
As you know I am generally a skeptic - including regarding Russian plasma stealth.
So it takes a little bit of humility to come back and say this research may be farther along than I have stated in previous threads.

I personally do not know very many particulars about this subject that I have not already stated. However, the heat issue was explained to me as plasma shielding the vehicle's skin from the intense temperatures generated by the aiframe's friction with the air molecules. RCS reduction is simply a biproduct of that. In other words any IR signatures generated are of a secondary concern at this stage of development. A hypersonic vehicle of this type is apparently expected to be able to outrun standard EAD methods.

Regarding the power requirements for such a device - I have no idea. It wasn't even discussed.

Apparently the trail for this research goes from Russian scientists in Moscow to BAe in the UK to DARPA and the AFRL in the US.

Also, I asked my contact if this was information that should not be leaked and he said there is no legal problem with disclosure as this information can be easily discerned by available facts and conjecture in the trade journals over the last 6 years. Because of who he is I took his word for it and if the FBI or NSA comes knocking on my door I'll tell'em everything.



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 06:27 PM
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I was not doubting you, intelgurl, and I understand that plasma technology has come along quite a bit since the days of those refutted yet proclaimed and hailed Russian 'bolt-on plasma-stealth kits.'

I was simply befuddled by the mention of plasma stealth in relation to heat reduction, knowing what I do on plasma stealth, albeit, based on old information.

This mention that you have made is interesting to contemplate, nonetheless.





seekerof



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 08:04 PM
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Cool rumor there.


I guess the heat generated by the aircraft flying at such speeds would be less then the heat of microwaving the air in front of the aircraft, thus cooling it?

Or perhaps the heat from the microwaves would cause the air to expand away from the aircraft, thus reducing the friction that causes the heat buildup (thus also reducing the shockwave)?

Either way, a stealthy hypersonic bomber sounds like what the USAF would want in a B-3.


EDIT: seems you already answered my questions.

[edit on 16-10-2005 by American Mad Man]



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 08:45 PM
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There is a hypersonic Scramjet Engine Demonstrator-Waverider (SED-WR) project in the works. The unmanned X-51 is sponsored by DARPA, AFRL, Boeing Phantom Works, and Pratt & Whittney.

It will be air launched from Edwards Air Force Base, California, using a B-52H. A rocket booster will propel the vehicle to Mach 4.5 then separate from the waverider. The scramjet will propel the X-51 to speeds in the Mach 7 range.

Ground tests of the scramjet engine have been highly successful.



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 09:14 PM
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Originally posted by Shadowhawk
There is a hypersonic Scramjet Engine Demonstrator-Waverider (SED-WR) project in the works. The unmanned X-51 is sponsored by DARPA, AFRL, Boeing Phantom Works, and Pratt & Whittney.

It will be air launched from Edwards Air Force Base, California, using a B-52H. A rocket booster will propel the vehicle to Mach 4.5 then separate from the waverider. The scramjet will propel the X-51 to speeds in the Mach 7 range.

Ground tests of the scramjet engine have been highly successful.


Do you have any links on that, or is it hear-say?



posted on Oct, 17 2005 @ 04:15 AM
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Just thought of something, I wonder what the typical inlet temperature into an engine at hypersonic speeds is?

The plasma might raise this temperature (then again, it might not
) if it did, engine efficiency/performance could drop off significantly. I suppose it would be one of the many technical problems that would have to be overcome.


Or perhaps the heat from the microwaves would cause the air to expand away from the aircraft, thus reducing the friction that causes the heat buildup (thus also reducing the shockwave)?


I think there is discussion over the medium (air) through which the aircraft is travelling changes its properties quite significantly - the temperature increase will raise the speed of sound (a = (gamma*R*T)^0.5) so the aircraft aerodynamics will think that its going slower than it actually is, reducing drag, against this, lift production will not be quite so efficient - but its always some sort of compromise


[edit on 17-10-2005 by kilcoo316]



posted on Oct, 17 2005 @ 04:46 AM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316
I think there is discussion over the medium (air) through which the aircraft is travelling changes its properties quite significantly - the temperature increase will raise the speed of sound (a = (gamma*R*T)^0.5) so the aircraft aerodynamics will think that its going slower than it actually is, reducing drag, against this, lift production will not be quite so efficient - but its always some sort of compromise


[edit on 17-10-2005 by kilcoo316]


Wouldn't this be a very desirable effect? I mean, if you have aerodynamics that allow for Mach 10 (just an arbitrary number i picked), and you can heat the air thus allowing it to fly at Mach 11 because the wings don't have to cut through dense air, wouldn't that be exactly what you wanted from this sort of aircraft?

I think at speeds such as this, generating lift wouldn't be a problem, would it?

Keep in mind I do not have a technical background.



posted on Oct, 17 2005 @ 04:50 AM
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It is very interesting that while Russia is usualy building powerplant system and then aircraft, America do it totaly different.

FredT: On proposed russian demonstrator AJAKS is magnetohydrodynamic plasma chemical scramjet. If this waverider be build, it should have the same type of engine.

Shadowhawk: I can repeat the question. From where do you have this info?

AJAKS link




posted on Oct, 17 2005 @ 04:50 AM
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Im no areodynamic expert either, but unless you are planning on a ballistic track, the plane will have to generate some kind of lift to stay in the air in level flight. Thats why alot of the concept planes for this type of speed are lifting bodies.

Edit: SPelling


[edit on 10/17/05 by FredT]



posted on Oct, 17 2005 @ 05:20 AM
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Some kind of life to stay in the air?
Would that be a bowl of petunias, or a sperm whale?
Sorry, I couldn't resist the temptation. I didn't really try very hard though.



posted on Oct, 17 2005 @ 05:29 AM
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Originally posted by American Mad Man
Wouldn't this be a very desirable effect? I mean, if you have aerodynamics that allow for Mach 10 (just an arbitrary number i picked), and you can heat the air thus allowing it to fly at Mach 11 because the wings don't have to cut through dense air, wouldn't that be exactly what you wanted from this sort of aircraft?

I think at speeds such as this, generating lift wouldn't be a problem, would it?

Keep in mind I do not have a technical background.


Yeah, it is very desirable, lift generation is not so much a problem at such speeds, but its just another factor to be considered in the design. The main problem would seem to be heating of the airframe, so obviously the less skin friction drag, the better - and plasma seems to be a good way of keeping the actual boundary layer off the surface of the aircraft.



posted on Oct, 17 2005 @ 11:28 AM
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Here is a link to some information on the X-51 Scramjet Engine Demonstrator:

www.pw.utc.com...





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