Rocket Exhaust Plume Phenomenology

Frederick S. Simmons
ISBN 1-884989-08-X
286p., illus., hardcover

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Rocket Exhaust Plume Phenomenology is an introductory treatment of the multidisciplinary subject of plume phenomenology as it relates to the development of space-based defense systems. The text covers the elementary principles of rocketry, basics of rocket-propellant combustion, gas dynamics of supersonic exhaust plumes, infrared radiation processes, theoretical plume models, physical properties of exhaust constituents, diagnostic measurement techniques, and other related topics.

Rocket Exhaust Plume Phenomenology is intended to be a basic tutorial treatise on the flow properties, gas dynamics, and radiative mechanisms responsible for generating emission in rocket exhaust plumes at various wavelengths. Such emissions, particularly at infrared wavelengths, provide the basis for detection and tracking of rocket-powered vehicles by sensors aboard spacecraft deployed for missile defense. Specifically, this work is primarily concerned with the phenomenology of rocket exhaust plumes as the targets of space-based surveillance systems.

The text is written at a level intended to bridge the gap between the needs of space systems engineers and the knowledge of scientists involved in detailed studies of plume observables.

Dr. Frederick S. Simmons is a consultant to the Space-Based Infrared Systems program at The Aerospace Corporation and has been consultant to several U.S. Air Force space-based defense programs. His experience in rocket exhaust plumes and related subjects spans 50 years and includes work in a variety of government, university, and industry programs.

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