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Mar18-06, 11:23 PM
P: 15
Quote Quote by russ_watters
Sounds like it's just a plasma tv screen on top of the emitter, enabling beam control by varying to opacity.
Well, I'll admit that grad student salaries don't put me in front of plasma TVs that often, so I don't know that much about them, but here's a quote from the article:
Agile Mirror consists of a plasma sheet formed in a low-pressure chamber by a gas discharge, explained Dr. Robert Meger, Head of the Charged Particle Physics Branch, Plasma Physics Division at NRL and principal investigator. The present laboratory version measures 60 centimeters by 60 centimeters by one centimeter. The plasma acts just like a conducting metal sheet to the microwaves. It is possible to turn the plasma mirror on and off very rapidly (less than 10 microseconds) and change the orientation of the mirror in between pulses. Multiple high power microwave sources with the same or different frequencies could be combined on a single Agile Mirror, in sequence or simultaneously.
So Agile Mirror is made of plasma (maybe the operational parts of plasma TVs are too - I don't know), and it's the plasma that is interacting with the microwave radar - reflecting it, I think. You've said that it does this by varying the opacity. Ok. How? What's the physics behind making a variable-opacity sometimes-reflective sheet of plasma?