Successful Completion and Operation of the Integrated High Vacuum Test Stand and Micro Propulsion Testing Chamber

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Richard Hull
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Real name: Richard Hull

Re: Successful Completion and Operation of the Integrated High Vacuum Test Stand and Micro Propulsion Testing Chamber

Post by Richard Hull » Sat May 11, 2019 6:12 pm

Magnetic, intense pulsed fields, as noted, are inductance limited and the stumbling block hung around the necks of hot fusion mag-confinement boys. There are work-a-rounds, but it appears in fusion work, there are issues.

Any intense either electrostatic or electromagnetic pulsing is always a putt-putt boat effect. When huge peak energies are applied for tiny periods, the time ordered power delivery is really quite trivial. The reason is that such efforts tend to savage or, at best, severely strain real world components. High rep rates are not common in the multi-megawatt peak pulsed power range.

Like already noted, it depends on what you are trying to do. Pulsed power is a separate engineering effort in and of itself. Casual dabbling in this area will usually result in a lot of damaged items, but like all hand-on efforts, will teach volumes to the dabbler. If the dabbler has a good purse and continues in his quest and reads a bit as well as continue his hands-on work, he will be rewarded with some degree of expertise in time.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

Patrick Lindecker
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Re: Successful Completion and Operation of the Integrated High Vacuum Test Stand and Micro Propulsion Testing Chamber

Post by Patrick Lindecker » Sat May 11, 2019 8:22 pm

Thanks Michael and Richard for your recommandations.

Patrick Lindecker

ian_krase
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Re: Successful Completion and Operation of the Integrated High Vacuum Test Stand and Micro Propulsion Testing Chamber

Post by ian_krase » Wed May 15, 2019 10:06 pm

I'd be very interested to see a drawing or closeup of the thrusters.

Michael Bretti
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Re: Successful Completion and Operation of the Integrated High Vacuum Test Stand and Micro Propulsion Testing Chamber

Post by Michael Bretti » Thu May 16, 2019 2:33 pm

Ian,

You can actually see all of the details and specifications for the thrusters, as well as all projects I work on at the Applied Ion Systems website. I won't take up server space here posting lots of detailed photos, but you can find significant details for everything there. I also post updates regularly to the website, as well as build and project status to the Applied Ion Systems Twitter and Instagram.

Right now I have two thruster prototype designs I am working on - the AIS-uPPT1 Micro Pulsed Plasma Thruster, which is a triaxial-based PPT exploring the use of an unconventional large-surface area tubular ignition electrode, and the AIS-gPPT1 Gridded Pulsed Plasma Thruster (the thruster shown in the earlier posted picture), a highly unconventional PPT design aimed at miniaturization for Pocketqube-class satellites. Both of which are exploring the principle of open-source thruster development for ultra low-cost thrusters, and different topologies aimed at improving ignition lifetime while further reducing size. You can find overviews, engineering specifications, CAD models, analysis, and detailed galleries showing the entire build from initial CAD renders to completed testing on the website. Here is a link to my current propulsion page: http://appliedionsystems.com/propulsion-systems/

As of recent, both prototype iterations are marked as obsolete, and work is already underway for the next generation of thrusters in each of their respective lines of development. I just added all of the CAD models the other day, as well as the first engineering/failure analysis report for the AIS-uPPT1. The test report for the AIS-gPPT1 will be added shortly, as well as cost analysis for both designs. I have already tested both thrusters in Phase I of testing to qualify ignition reliability. Unfortunately, both designs did not pass. Testing is done at a maximum pressure of 1 x 10^-5 Torr. While the thrusters are relatively simple to make, reliable ignition is a challenge at high vacuum levels and the lower voltages being worked with. Other factors include engineering design trade-offs between thrust, ISP, cost, machine-ability, size, form-factor, lifetime, and power constraints. The design for the next-gen AIS-gPPT2 is nearly complete, which will hopefully improve ignition reliability, as well as further increase usable surface area in the same form factor. The thruster will also come in two prototype versions - standard Teflon fuel, and experimental metal fuel.

For each pumpdown and thruster test, I also live Tweet details of the test as it progresses, and once I reach Phase II testing for the thrusters, which is lifetime and erosion testing, I will begin live-streaming full lifetime tests. This allows others to follow along real-time with testing of the thrusters, and allows enthusiasts more access and immersion in what goes into such testing for advanced electric propulsion. Between propulsion development and my large pulsed accelerator build (which is a slumbering giant right now and a massive effort itself), I should be able to pump out huge amounts of testing and build data for many years at unprecedented levels for propulsion and accelerator systems at the home-built maker level.

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