Faculty Advisor

Blandino, John J.


In order to make advancements in the area of propulsion, it is necessary to study the capabilities of current technology. One type of spacecraft propulsion system currently under development is the pulsed plasma thruster (PPT). The goal of this project is to design and fabricate a computer controlled two-axis probe positioning system which can be used to investigate the plume of a PPT operating in a vacuum chamber. The effort was divided into three areas: (1) vacuum chamber refurbishment, (2) mechanical and electrical design of the probe positioning system (PPS), and (3) thermal modeling of the PPT support during thruster operation.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2004


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering