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Plasma Stealth: Past & Present

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posted on Oct, 20 2004 @ 10:36 PM
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Introduction:

It seems almost every post on ATS that deals with plasma stealth technology stems from questions someone has after browsing to Venik's "Aeronautics.Ru" website. Venik has done a remarkable job of accumulating a plethera of good information and has one of the best aviation/aerospace reference material websites on the web.

It is my hope that this will not turn into the usual bashing of Russian or American technology, but rather generate curiosity and investigation. It is obvious that both sides have good reasons to follow the paths that they have chosen.


Plasma: What is it?

Plasma is the most common state of matter in the universe, it can carry electric currents, neutral particles and magnetic fields that exhibit collective effects.
Various examples of plasma around us are flames, lightning, neon lights, the Aurora Borealis, the corona around the sun, etc.
Plasma has been described as a being more closely related to fluids by some physicists and related to gases by others. What it actually resembles depends mostly on the density/temperature and energy of the matter.

Plasma technology has been a part of aerospace research for decades. Ever since it was discovered that there were communications black outs when space capsules were re-entering the atmosphere it has been known that plasma negatively affected RF signals.


The Basics: Plasma Stealth theory

There are 3 ways that plasma stealth functions.

1. Plasma aids in the absorption of the radar signals. This occurs when electromagnetic waves (radar) encounter charged particles causing the wave's energy to be transferred to the charged particles, thus no reflection back to the radar source.

2. Electromagnetic waves have a tendency to bend around the plasma field thus passing around the aircraft. Most aerospace radar specialists will tell you that this effect is at best minimal in decreasing Radar Cross Section (RCS).

3. Plasma can disturb electromagnetic waves to the point of transforming them to differing frequencies scattered all across the RF spectrum, rendering the electromagnetic waves that encounter the plasma virtually useless.


Background: The 1999 ITAR-TASS Claim

In January of 1999 Nicolai Novichkov of ITAR-TASS conducted an interview with Anatoliy Korteev, the director of the Russian Scientific Academy. In this interview it was revealed that Russian scientists had made significant strides in stealth techniques involving plasma. The Russian scientist outlined his perspective on the differences between the American and Russian approach to stealth. These differences being that American stealth is based on Radar Absorbent Material (RAM) and Radar Absorbent Structure (RAS)... This process as scientist Anatoliy Korteev stated is expensive to develop as well as to deploy and takes away from the overall manueverability of the airframe.

The article went on to discuss the method in which the plasma would protect the airframe from being observed by radar;
"If an object is surrounded by a cloud of plasma, several phenomenas are observed when the cloud interacts with electromagnetic waves radiated by enemy radar..."

For clarification, this article stated that the entire airframe of the plane would have to be engulfed in the plasma cloud in order for this stealth technique to be effective.

And finally the article states that the technology was already in it's 3rd generation, the device supposedly weighed approximately 100 kilograms, required only a "few tens of kilowatts" of power, and the development of the 3rd generation system had allowed clearance of the 1st and 2nd generation versions for export.
(Link to TASS article transcript)


Russian Plasma Stealth: How would it work?

Exactly how the Russian plasma stealth generator touted by TASS in 1999 would work is still undisclosed.
There are a variety of possibilities of how it could have operated, including the following:

1. An electromagnetic field is generated - the downside however, is that such a field would be detectable by electronic sensors.
2. A corona source that continuous breaks down or a pulsing tesla coil - again however, this would produce an EM field and thus be detectable.

3. A plasma laser firing out in front of the aircraft.

A common problem with each of these possibilities is that they require a lot of space, are heavy and consume a large amount of power.
Ok, enough of the 1999 claim - Let's move forward to 2003...


Russian Plasma Stealth: Questions from experts...

Investigating the subject of Russian plasma stealth as stated in the 1999 TASS article elicited many skeptical responses from the physicists, aerospace engineers and military specialists whom I interviewed.

As stated in the introduction of this article, it is not out of nationalistic American pride that these experts in the field question the validity of the Russian claim, nor is it closed mindedness of the technology itself (which is very viable)... it's the methodologies by which the Russian researchers claim to accomplish this.

* One specialist in the area of military arms sales for a US intelligence agency pointed out that it was 5 1/2 years ago in January 1999 that the Tass News Agency's article announced this technology was to be exported and as of yet there is no such product for sale on the world's arms markets.

* An aerospace engineer for a leading US fighter manufacturer questioned how this ionized gas envelope would interact with the airflow over the control surfaces at flight speed. Also he wondered if sharp, angled manuevering would shear off the ionization thus exposing the aircraft to enemy radar.

* A physicist from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory had questions about how the aircraft's onboard systems would interact with a surrounding plasma field. For instance in order for the plasma field to be effective it would have to to be so powerful that the aircraft itself would have to be shielded from it's own stealth system. Would this mean that they would have to employ something similar to a Faraday cage? If so, then how much would this additional weight negatively affect the performance and manueverability of a fighter aircraft?

* A plasma physicist working on a DoD project pondered how the Russian researchers handled the issue of photon emissions - visual glowing from plasma sources can be tracked using CCD sensors. Additional she stated that an ion field is detectable and it would seem that plasma stealth would likewise be detectable... she was also quick to point out that anything that is detectable can be shot down.


The State of Russian Plasma Stealth today: There is no Russian Plasma Cloud Stealth

In 2003 the Institute for Theoretical and Applied Electromagnetics (ITAE) at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow flight tested a "plasma-controlled screen" for the Su-35's remarkably large 0.889 meter radar dish... (which shows up like sore thumb on an air defense radar).
This "plasma screen" is mounted in front of the radar dish and behind the nose-cone of the fighter jet. It is supposedly similar to a plasma TV screen made up of cells or rastars filled with neon, xenon or some other inert gas which is excited by an electrical current, and when there is no current going to the unit it is completely transparent to the Su-35's radar.

In demonstration videos this Plasma Controlled Screen is seen as a luminous panel in front of the dish. It is said to absorb some of the opponent's radar signal, scattering much of the remainder in all different directions while at the same time transforming the scattered signals to frequencies all over the RF spectrum.

Word from the ITAE is that they have not developed a system for a whole airframe like the 1999 claim in Tass, which would use plasma-generating antennas to ionize the air flowing over the aircraft in fact, ITAE researchers expressed the view that application of the 1999 stealth method would be nearly impossible unless applied to a high-altitude, relatively slow aircraft, this is because the airstream would dissipate the plasma faster than it could be generated. (Janes Defense Weekly, 2003 - [Original not available online] - Transcript of original article)

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.

The ITAE scientist now have a much more practical system which is greeted with absolutely no skepticism from military and academic R&D specialists in the US and Great Britain.


US Stealth: Is Plasma a Consideration?

I have seen posts here on ATS and around the internet where people have anxiously expressed a concern that the US is not embracing this technology.

Although there is certainly a difference in the schools of thought surrounding stealth between Russia and the US, it is apparent both countries have dabbled in the other's stealthy techniques.

The Russians for instance are incorporating radar absorbing composites (RAM) as well as limited radar deflecting structural design (RAS) into their newest fighter designs... and then there is the Russian Tu-180, a flying wing bomber similar to the B-2 which a spokesman for Tupolev claims was flying before the US's B-2.

But what of US interest in plasma stealth?

We know the research is there...

In a 1998 article entitled "Are Plasmas Already Out There?", Janes Defense Weekly makes the suggestion that the US has plasma stealth technology already and that it may go hand in hand with electrostatic technology that decreases drag on aircraft.
Jan es Defense Weekly, on June 17, 1998 - page 8

Janes also referred to a 1968 "Aviation Week" article which said the US had been researching the phenomenon related to plasma and aeronautics - this was a non-specific reference to Northrop's 1968 tech paper titled "Electroaerodynamics in Supersonic Flow".

What is known about American military research on plasma stealth seems to revolve around cold-plasma projects. Rob Barker, Program Manager for plasma research at the USAF's Scientific Research Office in Virginia has been funding low-temperature plasma research by a specialist named Dr. Mounir Laroussi since 1996.

These current US Military/USAF research projects concerning cold plasma (most of which are classified) involve concepts using the air temperature ionized gas as; 1. a decontaminant for biological warfare, 2. protective shielding around sensitive electronic devices, 3. shielding from direct energy weapons (specifically microwave weapons) and as 4. a radar absorbing stealth technique.


Concluding Thoughts:

While writing this post, I interviewed some pretty impressive individuals in their respective fields, some of whom I really did not think I would get an audience with at all. I also had a rare opportunity to speak with an aerospace engineer for the Russian Aircraft Corporation (MiG) who was here in the US with a group touring a few major American aerospace companies.

The engineer from Russia did not consider the technology of a plasma cloud surrounding an aircraft to be ready to exit R&D and go into deployment for many years to come - and suggested that there are more expedient methods, not nearly as radical nor as potentially stealthy but are closer to deployment.

He had some interesting things to say - some of which included his compelling and well thought-out belief that the US also has plasma stealth... but that is for another post.
I will end this post with a quote by this Russian engineer named Vladimir...

"In Russia we are realists... we develop air defense that we hope can see a B-2, F-117 or F-22 in time to get off a shot, but there are many unknowns concerning these aircraft, including the F-117 simply because it has been upgraded since one was shot down over the Balkans, so we don't rest - we keep on improving.
"I tell you this not as one who is marketing a product, but as one who considers that his country's survival rests on it's ability to counter the US's capabilities... particularly in a technical sense. Again I stress not to counter the US... just it's capabilities. We Russians do not consider the US an enemy, but it would be irresponsible on our part to not be vigilant with the convolluted geopolitics in today's world."

Sources:

"Theoretical Principles of Plasma Physics and Atomic Physics"

"The Radar Game: Understanding Stealth and Aircraft Survivability", Rebecca Grant, 1998

"Naval Research Laboratory: Plasma Formulary"; NRL Plasma Physics Division,2002 Revision

With gratitude I'd like to acknowledge the following for guidance and input:

*** Special thanks to "Brett" @ Lockheed-Martin; Palmdale, CA
*** Special thanks to "Jeni" @ Raytheon; Langley, VA
*** Special thanks to "David" @ Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories; Livermore, CA
*** Special thanks to "Robert" @ a US intelligence agency; Langley, VA
*** Special thanks to "Vladimir" @ Russian Aircraft Corporation, (MiG); Moscow, Russia
*** Special thanks to "Zion Mainframe" @ "Above Top Secret.com" & "Air-Attack.Com" for link to TASS article
*** Special thanks to "Bios" @ "Above Top Secret.com" for research assistance






[edit on 21-10-2004 by intelgurl]




posted on Oct, 20 2004 @ 10:46 PM
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Great job as usual


1 big question. I noticed tha you said the US probably was looking at cold plasma. Is that to imply that there is hot plasma? What would be the difference as far as radar stealth goes? Would hot plasma give off a larger thermal signature? Which method would most likely be used by Russia?

I guess that really wasn't one question


[edit on 20-10-2004 by American Mad Man]



posted on Oct, 21 2004 @ 12:54 AM
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Originally posted by American Mad Man
Great job as usual


1 big question. I noticed tha you said the US probably was looking at cold plasma. Is that to imply that there is hot plasma? What would be the difference as far as radar stealth goes? Would hot plasma give off a larger thermal signature? Which method would most likely be used by Russia?

I guess that really wasn't one question


[edit on 20-10-2004 by American Mad Man]


From what I have gathered, Cold plasma is generally considered an ambient temperature or colder.
Just plain Plasma would be "hot" plasma... and yes, it would show up big time on an IR sensor.

Right now Russian stealth engineers have apparently put the much acclaimed plasma cloud stealth technique on hold - it would seem that the concept just is not feasible on a supersonic, highly manueverable aircraft such as a fighter.

According to Russian engineers the plasma dissipated too quickly to adequately sheild the aircraft from radar.

Now they are going a different route - Russian aerospace companies are retrofitting RAM panels and paint to the control surfaces of legacy aircraft.
The newer aircraft are incorporating RAM composites and possibly the new plasma stealth screen positioned in front of the radar dish in the nose cone - this is because the radar dish is one of the biggest contributors to a large RCS...

RAS (radar abosrbing structure) is not a big priority for the Russians either - their fighter philosphy is on manueverability and dog fighting/evasive techniques.


[edit on 21-10-2004 by intelgurl]



posted on Oct, 21 2004 @ 02:22 AM
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Originally posted by intelgurl
... new plasma stealth screen positioned in front of theradar dish in the nose cone - this is because the radar dish is one of the biggest contributors to a large RCS...

if you know:

1. does su-47 have this plasma screen either on radar cone or some other place?

2. will pak-fa utilize this technology?



posted on Oct, 21 2004 @ 02:51 AM
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wow, awesome article.

I found that russian plasma stealth article a few years ago, and put it on my website, but I never really looked into it anymore, I thought they stopped researching it.


I suspect the B-2 has some of this technology. A while back we had a research project about the B-2 and anti-gravity.

The B-2's leasing edge wing is charged to millions of volts.


Somehow I got the feeling that has something to do with stealth technology, instead of anti-gravitational propulsion...



posted on Oct, 21 2004 @ 07:09 AM
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I have heard rumors that the b-2 has a "cloak" that helps its passive stealth qualities. It supposedly usses electormagnetic wave around the plane, sounds like plasma stealth principle minus the heat and easy visibility. apparantely the B-2 cannot use its sensors at all while its on, so it is only used in a combat setting. This could be what people are taking for an anti-gravity design, because its seems kind of dumb to me to have an anit-gravity devisce on a flying wing.



posted on Oct, 21 2004 @ 08:12 AM
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Originally posted by Zion Mainframe

I suspect the B-2 has some of this technology. A while back we had a research project about the B-2 and anti-gravity.

Somehow I got the feeling that has something to do with stealth technology, instead of anti-gravitational propulsion...

You guys are absolutely right...
I had 3 out of the 5 people I interviewed add to their statements that they thought the B-2 had some form of plasma stealth...
Interestingly enough, the one who was most sure about the B-2 and the one who went into the most detail was the Russian aerospace engineer from "MiG" or the Russian Aerospace Corporation as they are known here.

He also as much as said that the plasma cloud technology surrounding a highly advanced aircraft was a good idea but not feasible for a fighter aircraft - at least for now.

I also had one US engineer tell me about the dual purpose of "plasma panels" on the control surfaces of experimental aircraft, and that they provide benefits of both visual stealth and plasma stealth... then he furrowed his brow looked away like he couldn't remember something and said "I'm not so sure I was supposed to talk about that..."


[edit on 21-10-2004 by intelgurl]



posted on Oct, 21 2004 @ 11:15 AM
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Originally posted by titus
if you know:

1. does su-47 have this plasma screen either on radar cone or some other place?

2. will pak-fa utilize this technology?




The answer to both your questions, sources withstanding, is no titus, Pak-Fa and the Su-47 do not utilize plasma technology.
Past thread(s) of consideration in asking what you have and that you may remember being discussed:
russian plasma stealth
What about Russia's Stealth?!?! What about the others?!?!
Will Plasma Revolutionize Aircraft Design?
What are the advantages of "plasma stealth"???

Article:
Russian Low-Observable Technology Research Detailed (2003)


Another very indepth and to the point of reality again Intelgurl. Job well done and presented. More will follow from this and from your topic.



seekerof



posted on Oct, 21 2004 @ 01:58 PM
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Excellent piece of Material Intelgurl!!, as usual


Heres a weird question, probably off topic, considering the "War on Terror" will most likely take us into Populated areas, will there be a decline in production of aircraft such as the B-2 or F-117 in favor of a more manuverable "Stealthy" fighter, such as the Raptor?



posted on Oct, 21 2004 @ 03:19 PM
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This looks like science fiction to me.
The plasma (in the physical meaning) is usually superheated ionized matter, the fourth state of matter.
Thermodynamical problems: If a plasma field would be generated around an aircraft 1. the air would cool it 2. anything left would be hit against the plane hull causing immense heat problem 3. the intense radiation would not only be easily detectible but also would heat the hull more 4. the power source has to be really powerful and so it would also produce a lot of heat. So only the heating problem would make the plane vaporize, because there can be no cooling as the plasma field would heat any incoming air.
EM problems:
1. Plasma can't bend EM waves by itself, visible light could be bent because of the different optical densities caused by the heat from the plasma, but radio waves aren't bent so easily.
2. The plasma field would be like a beacon because of its radiation.
3. The absorbtion of radar waves and their transformation to other wavelenghts doesn't make them useless if reflected back to the source. Plasma can't disturb electromagnetic waves, it just can absorb and re-emit. Only diturbance would be because of the fields own radiation, because it is so powerful that the original beam could not be detected so easily because of the measurement error (but this would make the plane even more visible).

Also modern radars don't send out any impulses, so the absorbtion and bending is useless. B-2s and F-117s are perfectly visible (Tamara), although US gov denies it. Why would someone waste money on an already obsolete technology?

There is no perfect stealth.

[edit on 21/10/04 by tontsum]

[edit on 21/10/04 by tontsum]



posted on Oct, 21 2004 @ 04:16 PM
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Originally posted by TrickmastertricK
will there be a decline in production of aircraft such as the B-2 or F-117 in favor of a more manuverable "Stealthy" fighter, such as the Raptor?

Well the B-2 and F-117 are no longer in production - although Northrop has offered to provide more B-2's for about a quarter of the price of the originals... they would not have as many "goodies" on board however.

As for the Raptor, although the RCS is classified, it is probably no more stealthy than the F-117 and B-2...
I believe ATS member "Aerospaceweb" could be of use on this specific topic...

Natalie~



posted on Oct, 21 2004 @ 04:26 PM
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The F-117 is a bit outdated as far as stealth tech, and I have read that the US has systems that can track it.

As for the B-2 - that is an whole different ball game.


On a different note, I have read that there are a lot of aerodynamic benefits to having a plasma field around an aircraft. From what I have read, it would work something like those Soviet torpedos that surround themselves in gas for greater underwater speed (via less resistance from water)



posted on Oct, 21 2004 @ 10:15 PM
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Originally posted by tontsum
This looks like science fiction to me.

Which part of the article above do you have a problem with?


The plasma (in the physical meaning) is usually superheated ionized matter, the fourth state of matter.

That is only part of the story.
It does not have to be superheated - there can be Cold Plasma as well as hot plasma.

The Cold Plasma Equations


EM problems:
1. Plasma can't bend EM waves by itself, visible light could be bent because of the different optical densities caused by the heat from the plasma, but radio waves aren't bent so easily.

Incorrect - Electromagnetic waves can definitely be bent or refracted in a plasma field.
Check out the following links:

Electromagnetic Waves in Cold Plasma
Also try this paper from MIT: Electromagnetic Waves in Plasmas; pages 118-120
Or this... Plasma Physics: Plasma Diagnostics
And here is a quote from Venik's Aeronautics.ru which you linked to regarding the Tamara:
"...effects of dissipation and bending of electromagnetic signals in presence of plasma field have been observed for decades."


3. The absorbtion of radar waves and their transformation to other wavelenghts doesn't make them useless if reflected back to the source.

It depends on what radar unit you are using - most modern air defense radars are X-bands, and they only recieve X-band. If the signals are scattered across the spectrum but not in the frequency the radar is meant to recieve then there is no reflection for the radar to see.



Also modern radars don't send out any impulses, so the absorbtion and bending is useless. B-2s and F-117s are perfectly visible (Tamara), although US gov denies it. Why would someone waste money on an already obsolete technology?

You are too broad with your statement. Yes there are "passive radar" such as the Czech Tamara radar which is actually not a radar at all by definition but rather a "listening device" - and there are plenty of "active" radar that would easily be considered "modern".
The Tamara is only effective in short range but at any rate I hear USAF R&D has some of these models and that tweaks have been made to various stealth planes to lessen the danger of a Tamara taking down another stealth plane.


There is no perfect stealth.

True, there is no perfect stealth. But it does not need to be perfect, just effective.



posted on Oct, 22 2004 @ 06:06 AM
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So, which on plane will be seeing plasma stealth and when ?
...............................................................

On which plane is plasma stealth being tested on ?

what are the disadvantages of plasma stealth ?

does the B-2's stealth "melt" in the rain ?

how much money is being put in by russia into plasma stealth research ?

what generations of plasma stealth exist and how is it classified into generations ? ( titus recently posted an article on 3rd gen plasma stealth)






posted on Oct, 22 2004 @ 07:37 AM
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Sorry about the excess criticism. I was just way behind of time. I hadn't heard about cold plasma, the story sounded like the home-bred cold fusion bomb thread that is somewere here.

This looks really promising, may lead not only to stealt but to force fields and shields. www.space.com... html

[edit on 22/10/04 by tontsum]



posted on Oct, 22 2004 @ 09:36 AM
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Originally posted by Stealth Spy
So, which on plane will be seeing plasma stealth and when ?

I don't know...


On which plane is plasma stealth being tested on ?

Russian plasma stealth in the form of the "Plasma Controlled Screen" that is positioned over the radar dish was being tested in 2003 on Su-35's.


what are the disadvantages of plasma stealth ?

3 disadvantages of Plasma Stealth that come to mind immediately are:

1. The plasma that surrounds the plane also blocks the plane's radar signal. The designers of the Russian SU-35 with the Plasma Controlled Screen made it so that it switches on and off at timed intervals (microseconds) in sync with the onboard radar so that it will still be able to "see". These microseconds however give a window of opportunity for enemy radars to sniff the aircraft out. But it's also important to realize the Su-35 even with the plasma screen does not qualify as a "stealth" plane, it simply has a reduced RCS.

2. Depending on the method used to create the plasma field there may be IR (heat) that will allow enemy air defenses to locate and track the plasma generating stealth craft. COld Plasma is therefore the preferred method but far more difficult in an unconfined area.

3. Visual artifacts of plasma; it is important to understand that as the ions of the plasma neutralize they will give off light - and not all ions will neutralize either. These left over ions will neutralize later creating a visible path that points directly to the plane. This visual path is called a plasma trail and can also be used to lock onto planes but this can be overcome by either flying very high or by operating only during the day... This phenomenon does not depend on whether the plasma is "hot" or "cold".
For this reason a plasma "screen" or panel is preferred rather than a plasma cloud surrounding the plane.


does the B-2's stealth "melt" in the rain ?

There are 3 possibilities that I can think of, perhaps others can think of more:

1.Rain in some way damages the special coatings on the planes' surfaces.

2.The gathering of rain in the aerodynamic flow around the planecould possibly be seen by some radars plus the gathering of water on the surface to a lesser extent could also enable radar to see the plane easier...

3.If the plane is indeed charged with millions of volts of electricity - whether it be for better aerodynamics or for the B-2's own brand of plasma stealth, rain would most definitely have a negative impact on the electric charge.


how much money is being put in by russia into plasma stealth research ?

I have no idea...


what generations of plasma stealth exist and how is it classified into generations ? ( titus recently posted an article on 3rd gen plasma stealth)

The 3rd gen plasma stealth was the "1999 TASS claim" referring to an antenna producing a plasma cloud aorund the aircraft, weighing less than 100kg and reducing RCS 100 times.
The Russian scientific organization that touted having made this development later in 2003 recanted the claim saying that it was too problematic. They are now working on the "Plasma Controlled Screen" as described above.

Hope this helps,
Natalie~

[edit on 22-10-2004 by intelgurl]



posted on Oct, 23 2004 @ 12:37 PM
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Interesting. The F-22 (and F-35) no doubt use a similar plasma screen to shield their own radar antennae, which would otherwise render the entire RAM coating and passive design useless. The B-2's brand of plasma stealth must also hide its conformal radars to prevent detection.

I've just been thinking of potential applications. A semiconductor coating on a satellite behind a dielectric coating could conceivably allow one to generate a plasma "sheath" and wrap the satellite in it. The plasma would be positively charged and pumped at various frequencies, the core of the satellite negatively charged. Basically a big flying capacitor.

"Black plasma" would be interesting, plasma that could absorb 100% of visible light, but that would require at least terahertz frequencies and all sorts of other problems, including waste heat.

Random factoid: the Klingon "Bird of Prey" ships supposedly use some kind of plasma field to cloak their ships from all forms of EM radiation, actually bending it around the vessel.

[edit on 23-10-2004 by Lampyridae]



posted on Oct, 23 2004 @ 06:07 PM
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I doubt that the F-35, maybe even the F-22 would have a plasma stealth device. Why is that? It costs a bundle.

The B-2 with its plasma/electromagnetic cloak is extremely expensive, and plus as a first generation device it is probably bulky. maybe all of these problems were solved, but why would the US put such a device on a plane it would export? So no they wont use the device.



posted on Oct, 24 2004 @ 03:14 AM
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Aside from cost, what type of power consumption are we looking at?

Is there a base formula from which we can get an idea of what type of output would be needed to generate an effective 'plasma field'?

=-Rich



posted on Oct, 24 2004 @ 10:08 AM
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To create a plasma filling a 1m neon tube: 36 watts. Possibly around 100 watts for the F-22's and F-35's hypothetical radar-covering plasma screens. If you don't understand what is meant by a radar-covering plasma screen, read intelgurl's posts.

In order to generate a useful plasma, you must have a high voltage arc or a flame. Low-temperature plasmas are what exist inside your fluorescent tubes. High temperature does not equal plasma. You can vapourise titanium and it won't be plasma, but hydrogen at the same might will be. It also comes down to pressure, electrical conductivity and atmoic configuration of the gas and so on and so forth.

High-temperature plasma is generated at around Mach 5+, the so-called hypersonic boundary. At these velocities, air hits the aircraft skin and comes to a dead stop, converting all the momentum absorbed from hitting the aircraft into heat. At high enough velocities, the temperature becomes hot enough to for the electrons to dissociate from the gas and move about freely. Applying a strong positive charge to an aircraft's fusellage would pull the electrons in and repel the positively charged atoms. The negative charge picked up must be dumped at the rear of the aircraft.

By ionising the air directly in front of the nose of a vehicle (eg with a UV laser), you would create a plasma without the air molecules actually having to touch the skin of your craft. Lift could be achieved piurely through elctromagnetic interaction with the surrounding plasma field. Thus, another place where the plasma shield might be used is a hypersonic or suborbital aircraft.

Hope you find this helpful.



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