HyPASS- Hypersonic Plasma Adaptive Sensor System

Period of Performance: 08/25/2008 - 12/31/2010


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Electrodynamic Applications, Inc.
P.O. Box 131460
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Principal Investigator


The plasma generated around low altitude hypersonic vehicles is a serious impediment to vehicle communications, particularly GPS navigation signal reception. This problem has introduced a critical path failure and potential showstopper for the hypersonic cruise missile program. The HyPASS system will simultaneously decrease the signal loss due to the plasma in such a vehicle and provide important information about plasma parameters to aid performance analysis and the development of other plasma mitigation systems. Transmitting and receiving adaptively tuned RF signals, HyPASS will measure the plasma density and other parameters, and provide information to tune a matchbox integrated with the GPS or other antenna. Recent advancements in high frequency circuit technology and "system-on-a-chip" processors have led to network analyzer type systems that are small and light enough for practical application of this technology to vehicles such as X-51. Phase I work carried the system concept from TRL 2 to TRL 3. Phase II will take the system to TRL 6 culminating in a brass-board demonstration and the completion of a flight development program plan. The flight system will nearly eliminate mismatch reflection signal loss and provide real time plasma information, operating efficiently in power, mass, and volume without interfering with vehicle aerodynamics.