Hypersonic Reentry Visible to the Naked Eye

February, 2022
IDA document: D-32879
FFRDC: Systems and Analyses Center
Type: Research Summary/Research Insights
Division: Science and Technology Division , Science, Systems and Sustainment Division
Jeremy A. Teichman, Leon R. Hirsch See more authors
The 2015 Larry D. Welch Award winner for best external publication was “Visible Signatures of Hypersonic Reentry,” by IDA researchers Jeremy A. Teichman and Leon R. Hirsch, published in Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets. This summary explores how an evaluation of long-range hypersonic delivery concepts for the Department of Defense led to an innovative approach that measured the ability of the naked eye to see reentry vehicles moving at hypersonic speeds. As a result, more serious consideration has been given to the use of human visual detection in traditional study of airspace surveillance and defense.