School Seminar Program
Lab to Launch
Radio-frequency, neutralizer-free, electrodeless plasma thrusters are of interest to the international electric propulsion community due to their power scalability, the removal of complex subsystems and the potential increase of operational lifetime. Over the past two decades, SP3 has undertaken research and development efforts on several radiofrequency plasma thrusters, leveraging a deep body of knowledge in low-pressure gas discharges and their diagnostics built over many years working with plasma processing technologies. Now, our research is primarily aimed at understanding the fundamental physics that takes place in these devices as it is critical to informing future thruster design and overcoming engineering challenges associated with sending real payloads into space.
This school seminar presents the status of a number of core projects that SP3 is currently undertaking, ranging from the fundamental physics of low-pressure space plasmas, the development of plasma thrusters and associated subsystems, our experience with launching our own CubeSat through the QB50 program and a number of other collaborations stretching across these areas.