Communication with reentry space vehicles via short pulses


  • Sergey V. Nazarenko,

  • Alan C. Newell,

  • Alexander M. Rubenchik


The resonant absorption of a short pulse of electromagnetic radiation in a plasma slab is considered in order to examine the effectiveness of using short pulses for information transfer through the plasma sheaths surrounding reentry vehicles. The amplitudes of the Raman scattering (RS) on the Langmuir oscillations associated with resonant absorption and the amplitude of the Brillouin scattering (BS) on the nonlinear modifications of the plasma profile are calculated. On-board detection of the RS and BS signals are proposed as parallel and independent channels for reading the message encoded on the electromagnetic pulse sequence. The information transfer capacity of two other nonlinear effects, the generation of the fast electrons in the wave breaking process, and the excitation of the ion-sound waves by the radiative pressure of the Langmuir oscillations are also considered.