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International Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 438239, 9 pages
Research Article

RF Field Build-Up inside a Manned Space Vehicle Using Novel Ray-Tracing Algorithm

Centre for Electromagnetics, CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore 560017, India

Received 25 February 2013; Accepted 3 October 2013

Academic Editor: Linda L. Vahala

Copyright © 2013 Balamati Choudhury et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The radio-frequency (RF) field mapping and its analysis inside a space vehicle cabin, although of immense importance, represent a complex problem due to their inherent concavity. Further hybrid surface modeling required for such concave enclosures leads to ray proliferation, thereby making the problem computationally intractable. In this paper, space vehicle is modeled as a double-curvatured general paraboloid of revolution (GPOR) frustum, whose aft section is matched to an end-capped right circular cylinder. A 3D ray-tracing package is developed which involves a uniform ray-launching scheme, an intelligent scheme for ray bunching, and an adaptive reception algorithm for obtaining ray-path details inside the concave space vehicle. Due to nonavailability of image method for concave curvatured surfaces, the proposed ray-tracing method is validated with respect to the RF field build-up inside a closed lossy cuboid using image method. The RF field build-up within the space vehicle is determined using the details of ray paths and the material parameters. The results for RF field build-up inside a metal-backed dielectric space vehicle are compared with those of highly metallic one for parallel and perpendicular polarizations. The convergence of RF field within the vehicle is analyzed with respect to the propagation time and the number of bounces a ray undergoes before reaching the receiving point.