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Industry Rumor: Hypersonic Stealth funded in 2006?

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posted on Oct, 17 2005 @ 01:51 PM
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I've found a couple of articles that substantiate some of what this rumor describes. The following article describes a hypersonic x-vehicle demonstrator that could recieve funding in 2005 or 2006:



"FSV will provide global reach from the continental USA, says Dolvin. Ongoing trade-off studies are considering the balance between speed - FSV could be hypersonic - and stealth. Other studies have looked at the type of weapons to be employed by the vehicle.

Hypersonic speed will allow the FSV to reach anywhere worldwide within hours. The FSV could also be an exoatmospheric platform. The AFRL says new technologies will be considered to achieve this. "We are looking at plasma fields for high-speed vehicle propulsion," says Dolvin, adding that experimental, analytical and simulation work on plasma technologies has been performed. An X-vehicle technology demonstrator could be funded for 2005-6."
USAF set to seek proposals for Future Strike Vehicles; Flight International



Then I found the following article that describes the method of generating the plasma...




It's a generator that sends a beam of microwaves upstream into the Mach 6 flow, ripping apart the gas ahead of the model so that it is flying through a plasma--a boiling mix of positive ions and electrons--rather than ordinary gas.

The same article points out the trail of research and how it came from Russia, through the UK and to the US.

"When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, funding for these experiments dried up, forcing the Russians to woo foreign scientists. One of them was Ron McEwen.

Throughout his career at the Sowerby Research Centre near Bristol, part of BAe, McEwen had had dealings with the Russians. Now the doors of the former Soviet Union's most secret establishments had been thrown open. Interested parties from the West were keen to take a peek at the science inside. So in 1994, McEwen travelled to Russia charged with establishing links with Russian institutions, sifting through their wares and cherry-picking the technologies of most use to BAe. "




"In 1996, Terry Cain, an engineer working at DERA's Farnborough research lab (UK), travelled to Russia to meet Klimov and his colleagues and repeat their experiments at the Central Aerohydrodynamics Institute near Moscow. He decided to test streamlined bodies the size and shape of ice cream cones, and Klimov and his colleagues fitted them with on-board plasma generators. Placed in a supersonic wind tunnel, these generators could create plasmas upstream of the cone.
Will Plasma Revolutionize Aircraft Design
; Space Daily . COm



From Moscow, to BAe to DARPA, just as my rumor source described.

One other tidbit, Arnold Engineering Development Center at the Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee has a new research lab for this very project, I was aware of the existence of this center, but had failed to put the two together.



[edit on 17-10-2005 by intelgurl]




posted on Oct, 17 2005 @ 10:35 PM
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You wouldn't need stealth for a hypersonic aircraft. Mach 10-15 at 100,000 ft, what could possibly get it?

USAF's new scramjet engine



posted on Oct, 17 2005 @ 10:49 PM
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Originally posted by NWguy83
You wouldn't need stealth for a hypersonic aircraft. Mach 10-15 at 100,000 ft, what could possibly get it?

USAF's new scramjet engine


2 comments.

First, nothing can get it now, but with this being more of a grey project, and less of a black one, other nations will try to counter it. They will use scram-jet missles or lasers, and with increased computing capabilities, might be able to track and target it.

Second, the US wants to be able to use this aircraft as a first strike platform, and stealth ability gives it a huge advantage in such a role, for example, a few of these things could be used to take out communications and comand centers in the initial stages of a nuclear first strike. That might creat a window for the strategic missles to get to target before the enemy even knew they were being attacked.



posted on Oct, 17 2005 @ 11:21 PM
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There are cold plasmas as well as hot plasmas. Some are safe to put your hand in, others are not.

An aircraft with forward plasma projection, essentually creates a "bubble" around the forward part of the aircraft. Since aerodynamic flow is the big source of airframe surface heating, it will wind up cooler. I don't know which is cooler, or hotter, after this is done.

When I first saw a public article about this type of research, it was claimed that the optimum shape for such a microwave device vehicle was..... a saucer shape. Based on initial findings.

Since that time, it appears that such a blunt approach to generating microwave, is not necessary, and wasteful in terms of power generation requirements.

The MHD engine, is interesting, since "plasma" controlled by an MHD is any fluidic liquid or gas that passes through it. Dense liquids prefered, but certain gases work well. I'm still a bit skeptical about MHD and MED propulsion.



posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 01:16 AM
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Originally posted by intelgurl
It's a generator that sends a beam of microwaves upstream into the Mach 6 flow, ripping apart the gas ahead of the model so that it is flying through a plasma--a boiling mix of positive ions and electrons--rather than ordinary gas.


If this is true, this type of craft would not be able to get messages from the NCA I am assuming due to the disturbance created by the plasma field?

Could the ionization itself be detectable?

[edit on 10/18/05 by FredT]



posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 03:47 AM
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Originally posted by American Mad Man
Second, the US wants to be able to use this aircraft as a first strike platform, and stealth ability gives it a huge advantage in such a role, for example, a few of these things could be used to take out communications and comand centers in the initial stages of a nuclear first strike. That might creat a window for the strategic missles to get to target before the enemy even knew they were being attacked.



Ugghhh - I don't like that idea!!!





As for detection of the ionisation, well, if the method of ionisation is pretty much using brute heat, a IRST will detect it miles away. But then again, with the speed it will be travelling, is miles away far enough away? Mach 10 is roughly 6,800 mph @ 30,000, at 100,000 ft its around 6,750 mph. So even with an IRST detection range of 100 miles, if the aircraft is coming directly towards you, you still only have about 50-55 seconds to react!! (until it's past you).



posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 06:51 PM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316
Ugghhh - I don't like that idea!!!



I don't think anyone does, especially those who must give the orders to do so or the pilots that would fly on such a mission.

None the less, such situations do exist, and militaries must plan for them and must give themselves the best chance to win in every situation. For instance, during the cold war, Russia and the US both had nuclear first strike plans, and the USSR actually had documents on how "winnable" nuclear war was. Had the US recieved intel that the USSR was preparing for a nuclear first strike to gain the initiative, the US would have little option but to beat them to the punch.

Thus, the B-2 bomber was born as the first choice in a nuclear first strike because of it's low observability.




As for detection of the ionisation, well, if the method of ionisation is pretty much using brute heat, a IRST will detect it miles away. But then again, with the speed it will be travelling, is miles away far enough away? Mach 10 is roughly 6,800 mph @ 30,000, at 100,000 ft its around 6,750 mph. So even with an IRST detection range of 100 miles, if the aircraft is coming directly towards you, you still only have about 50-55 seconds to react!! (until it's past you).



You must consider that the heat generated by ionisation may in fact be cooler then the heat that would be generated by the aircraft simply flying through normal air. The SR-71 would heat up to 900 degrees F on the airframe, and the engines would heat up to 3200 degrees. If the air in front of the plane is heated up before the aircraft flies through it, the airframe of the aircraft it's self would actually be cooler because there would be less resistance by the air, and thus less friction.

So in a sense it would act as an indirect active stealth system.

However, like you said, the speed of the aircraft is more then able to make up for any detection that would occur. In addition, the hypersonic stealth aircraft would detect any enemies before it was detected it's self via radar, and thus could simply turn a degree or two and avoid the enemy aircraft.



posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 04:37 AM
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Originally posted by American Mad Man

You must consider that the heat generated by ionisation may in fact be cooler then the heat that would be generated by the aircraft simply flying through normal air. The SR-71 would heat up to 900 degrees F on the airframe, and the engines would heat up to 3200 degrees. If the air in front of the plane is heated up before the aircraft flies through it, the airframe of the aircraft it's self would actually be cooler because there would be less resistance by the air, and thus less friction.

So in a sense it would act as an indirect active stealth system.

However, like you said, the speed of the aircraft is more then able to make up for any detection that would occur. In addition, the hypersonic stealth aircraft would detect any enemies before it was detected it's self via radar, and thus could simply turn a degree or two and avoid the enemy aircraft.


The heat of ionisation may be cooler than an aircraft travelling at Mach 10 - but it may still be generating more heat than a Blackbird, I honestly don't know what kind of heat levels would be produced - but an IRST doesn't need the heat to be on an aircraft's skin, it should be able to detect the heating of the air too.

Also, there is the distinct possibility (or should that be probabillity) that ionising the air around the aircraft will render the radar useless as no electromagnetic waves will be able to penetrate the ionised layer - much the same way as the shuttle and re-entry capsules have 'black-out' periods on re-entry.



posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 05:07 AM
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posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 05:56 AM
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Originally posted by FredT
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]


Hey Fred,

Have you ever heard of a wave rider? While lifting bodies work for hypersonic flight, most of the cutting edge NASA/DARPA research seems to be moving toward the wave rider concept. The concept is an evolution of the lifting body. It works by trapping the shockwave under the body of the plane and using the high pressure to create extra lift. the aircraft litterly rides its own shock wave. Here's a technical paper on Wave Riders:

How a Wave Rider works!

It's a bit on the technical side, so take your time with it. However, I think you'll see why wave rides are the current focus of a lot of hypersonic research. If they are working on a hypersonic stealth, it more likely to be a waverider, than a lifting body. Lifting bodies are mainly for space flight and reentry.

Tim



posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 08:42 AM
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I disagree to an extent ghost, they will have to get the plane into the air off a conventional run-way (won't they? would they really consider launcher vehicles for every flight or vertical launches?
).

So, there will have to be lifting surfaces for subsonic flight, maybe something along the lines of the switchblade concept I seen running around the forum somewhere, but they will need them. For the same reason, scramjets will not be able to be the sole powerplant, something has to get the aircraft supersonic so the scramjet will work, maybe a single 'bodied' ram/scramjet can be made, I'm not sure. I suppose the alternative is a rocket powered initial flight upto supersonic speeds, but fuel reserves would have to be large, unless the rockets are disposable



Alot of things to ponder on



posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 10:40 AM
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I put this in the sticky thread at the top of the board, but in-case its missed:

www.mosnews.com...


The Russian aircraft industry has developed and will soon start producing stealth aircraft which will radically differ from existing U.S. models. The Russian version uses plasma screens to cushion and disperse radar waves, the Novye Izvestia daily reports.

The newspaper quoted Anatoly Koroteyev, the head of the Keddysh Research Center as saying that the plasma screen technology can be used on any vehicle — from automobiles to combat aircraft. However, it is most effective at high altitudes and thus is best used by the air force.

Koroteyev said that the new technology employs a different physical principle than the one currently used by existing U.S. stealth aircraft — the F-117 and B-2. Instead of reflecting the radar wave the Russian technology completely disperses it by means of a plasma screen created by a mobile plasma generator.

The generator is small and light. The device emits powerful electron beams that ionize the air around the aircraft effectively creating a plasma cloud around it.

The head of the Russian research institute said that initially the plasma generator disrupted the work of on-board electronic systems and prevented radio communication with ground control, but the problems have been solved and the system has already passed tests set by a Russian governmental commission.

Koroteyev added that the new technology can be used on any aircraft, including older models and that it is radically cheaper than the technology employed by U.S. stealth planes while being just as effective, if not more so. He said that the aircraft equipped with the Russian system will also be far superior to U.S. models in their flight and combat capabilities — as the use of the plasma screen makes it unnecessary to alter the shape of the aircraft.

The newspaper writes that similar research is being conducted in the U.S., but the Russian version is so far the only plasma screen technology in the world.



posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 04:53 PM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316
I put this in the sticky thread at the top of the board, but in-case its missed...


From the pinned topic you refer to, Intelgurl wrote this:




So there it is, the same group of scientists (ITAE) who in 1999 stated via ITAR-TASS news agency that they had a 100kg plasma stealth unit in it's 3rd generation, 4 years later tell Bill Sweetman of Janes Defense Weekly the system was problematic due to the dissipation of the plasma field was too rapid for a fast flying fighter aircraft.


My thoughts are that, as usual, Russian scientists came up with a great idea, but just didn't have the funding to make it work. So the technology gets transfered to companies like BAE and Lockheed by scientists looking for jobs, and these companies DO have funding.

Not only that, but have brilliant scientists themselves, and a lot more high end technology, so they take the idea, and make it better. Thus, a late 90's idea that Russia has but couldn't get to work, becomes a 2010-2020 technology of the US.



posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 05:26 PM
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AMM - that news story was posted online today...

I did state that - but I think it was in the sticky thread I stated it, followed by the question is this a report on old news, or a new development?


Either its a slow news day, and a Russian newspaper is filling space with old material, or there has been a step forward. But, I suppose, why would you unveil the fact its almost at operational status?



posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 05:39 PM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316
AMM - that news story was posted online today...

I did state that - but I think it was in the sticky thread I stated it, followed by the question is this a report on old news, or a new development?


Either its a slow news day, and a Russian newspaper is filling space with old material, or there has been a step forward. But, I suppose, why would you unveil the fact its almost at operational status?


From my understanding, it's a rehash of an old story. The Russians said they were ready to export working 'bolt on' plasma stealth systems years ago. They are basically saying the same thing now. Hence why I posted what I did.

There is also the heat aspect from the plasma cloud, as it would be hot plasma in all likely hood (Again, I refer to Intelgurls plasma stealth thread), and thus claims that it is "on par" with American systems is dubious at best, and the assertation that it makes US designs obsolete ludicrous. US systems are "all aspect" stealth, including radar, thermal, visual, and accustic signatures.

This is why I believe that the micro-wave system talked about in this thread would actually help cool the aircraft, as the USAF does not simply look for radar stealth but thermal as well.



posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 06:27 AM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316
I disagree to an extent ghost, they will have to get the plane into the air off a conventional run-way (won't they? would they really consider launcher vehicles for every flight or vertical launches?
).


Maybe I didn't explain it well (MY FAULT)!

A wave rider is an aerodynamic lift vehicle! They take off like any other aircraft and fly using aerodynamic lift. The Secret of the wave rider is its ability to trap the shock wave it creates once it reaches supersonic speed. Usually, the shock wave adds to the drag. In a wave rider, the shock wave is trapped under the craft, where it adds to the aerodynamic lift that is already being created by the craft.

Tim



posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 07:04 AM
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ntrs.nasa.gov...

NASA have done work (in the Lo Flyte project) showing that waveriders can operate at subsonic speeds.

Me stupid - of course they can make 'lift' - not through conventional circulation around an aerofoil section, but using vortices over the upper surface (same idea as LERX and concorde @ high AOA), and pure momentum exchange with the airflow on the lower surface. Hence, no lift at zero AOA. The paper linked above is exploring the controlability at these lower speeds.

D'OH!!



posted on Oct, 24 2005 @ 07:44 PM
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For those interested in the technical aspects of using plasma to reduce drag and heat flux on the vehicle you can check out this AIAA article.

www.pmamresearch.com...

also available here

www.physics-math.com...

This should be a given on an aerospace thread, but the AIAA is the real deal for those who don't know. I'll warn you that it is a full-on technical journal, so it aint bedtime reading (unless you're looking for a quick nap
), but it is a good read for nerds like myself.



posted on Oct, 24 2005 @ 07:50 PM
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Oh and check out the Air Force's HyTech program for some pretty sweet hypersonic-ness. It's an awesome program and they should doing flight tests in 06-07.
Globalsecuirty.org has some good summaries on the current state of military research into hypersonics too.



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