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Design of Reflective, Photonic Shields for Atmospheric Reentry

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Author(s): Nikolay Komarevskiy | Valery Shklover | Leonid Braginsky | Christian Hafner | Olga Fabrichnaya | Susan White | John Lawson

Journal: Journal of Electromagnetic Analysis and Applications
ISSN 1942-0730

Volume: 03;
Issue: 06;
Start page: 228;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Multilayers | Reflective Coatings | Optimization

ABSTRACT
We present the design of one-dimensional photonic crystal structures, which can be used as omnidirectional reflecting shields against radiative heating of space vehicles entering the Earth’s atmosphere. This radiation is approximated by two broad bands centered at visible and nearinfrared energies. We applied two approaches to find structures with the best omnidirectional reflecting performance. The first approach is based on a band gap analysis and leads to structures composed of stacked Bragg mirrors. In the second approach, we optimize the structure using an evolutionary strategy. The suggested structures are compared with a simple design of two stacked Bragg mirrors. Choice of the constituent materials for the layers as well as the influence of interlayer diffusion at high temperatures are discussed.
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