News

IEPC 2017

  • Posted on: 23 October 2017
  • By: alfven

The lab came back from Atlanta following a successful International Electric Propulsion Conference! Will Coogan, Chris Wordingham, and Pierre-Yves Taunay published three conference articles pertaining to applied-field MPD thrusters, theory of hollow cathodes, and a mission plan to Mars using near-term technology:

ALFA Firing - Part 2

  • Posted on: 13 September 2017
  • By: alfven

Will Coogan finished installing the Argon Lorentz Force Accelerator (ALFA) and obtained some thrust measurements over the summer. He previously operated the thruster at 100 A, and recently increased the discharge current to 220 A, as shown below.

ALFA Firing

  • Posted on: 24 August 2017
  • By: alfven

Will Coogan finished installing the Argon Lorentz Force Accelerator (ALFA) and obtained some thrust measurements over the summer. The thruster is shown below firing at low current (100 A).

Congrats Jack and Josh!

  • Posted on: 22 June 2017
  • By: alfven

Congratulations to our two seniors Jack Hollingsworth and Josh Umansky-Castro for completing their degree!

Both of them worked in the steel tank, on Lorentz Force Accelerators. Josh designed and built a video pod that would withstand the extreme environment (vacuum, plasma, high-temperature, lithium vapor) in the tank during operation of the Lithium Lorentz Force Accelerator (LiLFA). The video feed will provide high-quality video of the lithium MPD discharge. Jack performed structural and thermal FEM analysis of the Argon Lorentz Force Accelerator (ALFA), and manufactured the ALFA. He also performed evaporation measurements of the lanthanum hexaboride insert in the graphite hollow cathode after operating the MPD thruster.

Their senior thesis may be found here:

ALFA fabrication complete

  • Posted on: 23 March 2017
  • By: alfven

The brand-new Argon Lorentz Force Accelerator (ALFA) is done being fabricated! This thruster was designed and built by Jack Hollingsworth and Will Coogan for use in the facilities presently used by the LiLFA. This is the first magnetoplasmadynamic thruster to make use of a LaB6 orificed cathode. The performance of this thruster will be reported at the 2017 International Electric Propulsion Conference.

The dimensions of the graphite thruster electrodes are matched to those of the tungsten LiLFA. We contoured the nozzle to match the shape of the applied magnetic field. We anticipate running at power levels up to 30 kW.

Photo credit: Josh Umansky-Castro, Diagram: Will Coogan

Additional Publications

  • Posted on: 18 October 2016
  • By: alfven
We have added more than 35 lab publications dating from 1962! Below is the list of recent additions. All publications from EPPDyL are searchable on the dedicated page.
Download Title Publication Year Authors
Design of a High-energy, Two-stage Pulsed Plasma Thruster 38th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference 2002 Thomas Markusic, Y. Thio, J. Cassibry
The adverse effect of perpendicular ion drift flow on cylindrical triple probe electron temperature measurements Review of Scientific Instruments 1994 Dennis Tilley, Alec Gallimore, Arnold Kelly, Robert Jahn
Anode Power Deposition in Magnetoplasmadynamic Thrusters Journal of Propulsion and Power 1993 Alec Gallimore, Arnold Kelly, Robert Jahn
Energy Deposition in Low-Power Coaxial Plasma Thrusters Journal of Propulsion 1991 Roger Myers, Arnold Kelly, Robert Jahn
Cathode Phenomena in Low-Power Magnetoplasmadynamic Thruster Journal of Propulsion 1991 Roger Myers, N. Suzuki, Arnold Kelly, Robert Jahn
Assymetric Discharge Patterns in the MPD Thruster Master's Thesis 1990 W. Hoskins
Measurement of MPD Thruster Erosion Using Surface Layer Activation Journal of Propulsion 1987 Jay Polk, Woldemar von Jaskowsky, Arnold Kelly, Robert Jahn
MPD Thruster Performance: Propellant Distribution and Species Effects Journal of Propulsion 1986 D. Merfeld, Arnold Kelly, Robert Jahn
Measured Performance of a Multimegawatt MPD Thruster Journal of Spacecraft 1983 Rodney Burton, Kenn Clark, Robert Jahn
Magnetoplasmadynamic Channel Flow for Design of Coaxial MPD Thrusters Ph.D. Dissertation 1982 David King
Erosion Measurements on Quasisteady Magnetoplasmadynamic Thrusters Journal of Spacecraft 1982 R. Rowe, Woldemar von Jaskowsky, Kenn Clark, Robert Jahn
Recombination Lasing in a Magnetoplasmadynamic Arcjet Journal of Applied Physics 1980 E. Campbell, Robert Jahn, Woldemar von Jaskowsky, Kenn Clark
Physical Processes in Hollow Cathodes AIAA Journal 1977 M. Krishnan, Robert Jahn, Woldemar von Jaskowsky, Kenn Clark
Flowfield Characteristics and Performance Limitations of Quasi-Steady Magnetoplasmadynamic Accelerators AIAA Journal 1976 M. Boyle, Kenn Clark, Robert Jahn
Exhaust Plume Structure in a Quasi-Steady MPD Accelerator AIAA Journal 1974 Adam Bruckner, Robert Jahn
Anode Phenomena in High-Current Accelerators AIAA Journal 1972 Ronald Oberth, Robert Jahn
Cathode Region of a Quasi-Steady MPD Arcjet AIAA Journal 1971 Peter Turchi, Robert Jahn
Acceleration Patterns in Quasi-Steady MPD Arcs AIAA Journal 1971 Robert Jahn, Kenn Clark, Ronald Oberth, Peter Turchi
Current Pattern and Gas Flow Stabilization in Pulsed Plasma Accelerators AIAA Journal 1970 A. Eckbreth, Robert Jahn
Energy Transfer from a Pulse Network to a Propagating Current Sheet AIAA Journal 1970 Paul Wilbur, Robert Jahn
Quasi-Steady Plasma Acceleration AIAA Journal 1970 Kenn Clark, Robert Jahn
Pressure Distribution in the Structure of a Propagating Current Sheet Physics of Fluids 1970 Thomas York, Robert Jahn
Electron Beam from a Magnetoplasmadynamic Arc Physics of Fluids 1969 Adriano Ducati, Robert Jahn
Ion density and current distributions in a propagating current sheet, determined by microwave reflection technique Journal of Plasma Physics 1969 W. Ellis, Robert Jahn
Physics of Electric Propulsion Book 1968 Robert Jahn
Current Pattern Stabilization in Pulsed Plasma Accelerators AIAA Journal 1968 A. Eckbreth, Kenn Clark, Robert Jahn
The Magnetoplasmadynamic Arcjet Astronautica Acta 1967 Kenn Clark, Robert Jahn
A Large Dielectric Vacuum Facility AIAA Journal 1966 Robert Jahn, Kenn Clark
Dynamic Efficiency of Pulsed Plasma Accelerators AIAA Journal 1965 Neville Black, Robert Jahn
Ejection of a Pinched Plasma from an Axial Orifice AIAA Journal 1965 Robert Jahn, Woldemar von Jaskowsky, Rodney Burton
Miniature Rogowski Coil Probes for Direct Measurement of Current Density Distributions in Transient Plasmas Review of Scientific Instruments 1965 Edward Wright, Robert Jahn
Gas-Triggered Pinch Discharge Switch Review of Scientific Instruments 1965 Robert Jahn, Woldemar von Jaskowsky, A. Casini
Current Distributions in Large-Radius Pinch Discharges AIAA Journal 1964 Robert Jahn, Woldemar von Jaskowsky
Initial Ionization Rates in Shock-Heated Argon, Krypton, and Xenon Physics of Fluids 1964 Kenneth Harwell, Robert Jahn
Gas-Triggered Inverse Pinch Switch Review of Scientific Instruments 1963 Robert Jahn, Woldemar von Jaskowsky, A. Casini
Structure of a Large-Radius Pinch Discharge AIAA Journal 1963 Robert Jahn, Woldemar von Jaskowsky
Microwave probing of ionized-gas flows Physics of Fluids 1962 Robert Jahn