Faculty Advisor

Gatsonis, Nikolaos A.


The project involves design, analysis and fabrication of setups to be used in experiments with plasma plumes from electric micropropulsion devices. The setup for a 1.25m diameter 1.845m long large vacuum chamber includes a fixed plasma source stand and a translating plasma diagnostics stand. Design and structural analysis are performed using Solidworks and COMSOL Multiphysics. The setup for a 0.57m diameter,0.55m long small vacuum chamber includes a plasma diagnostics stand placed on a manual translation table along the plume axis. The realized design involves motorized transverse and rotary stages to align a Langmuir probe with the direction of the ion plume flow. Estimates of plume properties needed for probe sizing are obtained with simulations using a particle in cell plasma code.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

February 2012


Aerospace Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering