Congratulations to our senior Jordan Brown for completing his degree!
Jordan worked on the large hollow cathode currently set in the yellow tank. He designed and built an actuated triple probe to measure plasma properties within the emission region of the cathode.
His senior thesis may be found here: Design and Implementation of an Actuated Probe Suite for an Orificed Hollow Cathode
More technical details can be found in the associated conference paper: Heavy-Cargo Mars Mission Using Near-Term Technology.
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:
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.
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:
- Jack Hollingsworth - A Graphite Orificed Hollow Cathode for an Argon Magnetoplasmadynamic Thruster
- Josh Umansky-Castro - Extreme Environment Video Diagnostic for a Lithium Lorentz Force Accelerator