Re: USA 144: The Mystery Deepens - Flash Timings Needed

From: Markus Mehring (m.m@gmx.de)
Date: Thu Aug 08 2002 - 09:33:17 EDT

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    On Thu, 08 Aug 2002 08:53:25 -0400, you (Patrice Scattolin
    <scattol@videotron.ca>) wrote:
    
    >This has me puzzled. Satellites can have "optical stealth" mechanisms? 
    
    Yes.
    
    >What exactly is that?
    
    "Smoke & Mirrors". The theory doesn't work much differently than certain
    types of Radar stealth: if you can't get rid of the reflection, try to
    actively direct it. A mirror in space can look pitch black to the point of
    invisibility. (That ought to be enough hints. :)
    
    >I would have though that just painting it black would do (aside from the 
    >heat problem).
    
    The heat problem is too significant to put it aside that easily. Simply
    painting the satellite surface black wouldn't be feasible at all. Black
    shields somewhere remotely off of the satellite with little or no
    connection to the payload (to avoid heat transfer troubles) would be what
    you want. Though, see above, you don't necessarily need to make them black,
    you could also make them mirrors instead.
    
    
    CU!	Markus
    
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