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:

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