Space plasma power and propulsion group

Department of Nuclear Physics & Accelerator Applications

In space, no-one can hear you scream. Is this true?

Thrusters for propulsion generally require nozzles but is this necessary in the vaccum of space?

Professor Roderick Boswell

System calculations for hunter killer satellites

Space junk is a major problem for space travel. We use an energetic particle beam to manoeuvre a satellite close to junk then blast it with the particle beam to deorbit the junk

Professor Roderick Boswell

Plasma thrusters for spacecraft

Low Earth Orbit satellites such as CubeSats can have their lifetime boosted by using our unique plasma thrusters to insert them into higher orbits. 

Professor Roderick Boswell

Active orbital control systems for nano-sats orbiting the Moon

Active plasma thrusters are needed for in orbit manouvers and for arranging constellations of satellites. 

Professor Roderick Boswell

Particle simulation of dual frequency processing plasmas

We employ Particle in Cell simulations that are inexpensive true computer experiments to complement the use of costly industrial microchip plasma systems.

Professor Roderick Boswell

Plasma surface interactions under extreme conditions

High power ion beams can be used to replace lasers as sources for evaporated coating material. Work with industry to discover the physics.

Professor Roderick Boswell

Determining the orbital characteristics of a constellation of nano-sats orbiting the Moon

There is no lunar GPS so how will satellite orbits be determined for safety and efficiency in designing missions.

Professor Roderick Boswell

Magnetic nozzles and plasma generated by a remote source

When plasmas are decoupled from their source of power, much can be learned about non-local effects of energy transport.

Professor Roderick Boswell

Computer simulation of expanding plasmas

Experimental work on expanding plasmas is greatly aided by computer simulation using plasma fluid codes. 

Professor Roderick Boswell

Updated:  26 March 2023/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPhys/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster