Congratulations to Dr. Pierre-Yves Taunay for successfully defending his dissertation “Scaling Laws in Orificed Thermionic Hollow Cathodes”! Pierre-Yves is starting as a post-doctoral researcher in the Computational Turbulent Reacting Flow Laboratory (CTRFL) to apply numerical methods for reactive flows to plasma physics problems.
Congratulations to Dr. Sebastián Rojas Mata for successfully defending his dissertation “The Active Wave Packet Injection Diagnostic for Measuring Plasma Dispersion Relations”! Sebastián will be going to the Swedish Institute for Space Physics in Kiruna as a post-doctoral researcher to study plasma processes in the atmosphere of Venus.
Congratulations to Dr. William Coogan for successfully defending his dissertation “Thrust Scaling in Applied-Field Magnetoplasmadynamic Thrusters”! Will is now off to Firefly Aerospace in Texas.
The paper Pierre-Yves Taunay presented at the 54th Joint Propulsion Conference can be found on our publication list:
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
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 and Pierre-Yves Taunay produced a video surveying options for a heavy-cargo mission to Mars, using near-term electric propulsion technology. Check it out!
More technical details can be found in the associated conference paper: Heavy-Cargo Mars Mission 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.
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).