Division of Space Plasma Power and Propulsion

Research efforts in the Space Plasma Power and Propulsion group (SP3) focus on the following areas:

Helicon double layer thruster

SP3 has invented the world's first Helicon Double Layer Thruster (HDLT). This new propulsion concept has the potential to propel humans to Mars and beyond and greatly decrease the costs of maintaining satellites and spacecraft in their desired orbits.

» more on the HDLT

Dual stage four grid (DS4G) thruster

A new concept in electric propulsion, the DS4G ion thruster for interplanetary space craft was successfully tested in late 2005 by the European Space Agency and the Australian National University.

» more on the DS4G thruster

Fuel cells

Since 2004 SP3 has been developing a new generation of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. We are applying our expertise in plasma physics, plasma chemistry and materials processing to the manufacturing of efficient PEM fuel cells based around plasma processing techniques.

» more on fuel cells

Other research areas

  • Fundamental plasma physics
  • Plasma processing
  • Plasma simulations
  • Nano-structures and nano-devices

Updated:  1 August 2013/ Responsible Officer:  Head of Department/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster