Space Plasma

Space PlasmaMuch of the baryonic matter of the universe is believed to consist of plasma, or an ionized gas consisting of negatively charged electrons and positively charged ions. These particles are charged, and are therefore strongly influenced by electromagnetic forces. All known astrophysical plasmas are influenced by magnetic fields. Scientists use plasma chambers to replicate the plasma state in space to understand how the plasma and the spacecraft interact. Therefore, diagnostics are needed to confirm that the plasma has the correct parameters to replicate what is found in space.

Semion Sensors

The Semion Sensor measures the uniformity of ion energies hitting a surface in a plasma chamber.

Vertex Sensors

The Vertex Sensor measures the angle of ions hitting a surface inside a plasma reactor to analyse ion angle uniformity.

Quantum Sensors

The Quantum is a unique instrument to measure the ratio of ions to neutrals hitting a surface inside a plasma reactor.

Species Sensors

The Species Sensor measures the uniformity of ion species (mass) hitting a surface in a plasma chamber.

Langmuir Probes

The Langmuir Probe is one of the most common and widely used plasma diagnostics and measures plasma parameters in the bulk of the plasma.

LP01: Langmuir probe used in a lunar dust application to measure the electron density and energy distribution
The single Langmuir probe is ideal for measuring and understanding the nature of the photoelectron plasma environment above a VUV illuminated surface. It is this photoelectron plasma region that provides the local environment for dust particles in a lunar environment.

LP04: Hall Effect Thruster plasma plume characterization with probe measurements and self-similar fluid models
The plasma plume of a Hall Effect Thruster exhibits a relatively large divergence angle of about 45°, and investigating this plume and its expansion into space is vital for understanding these devices and assessing the mechanical and electrical interactions of the exhaust plasma plume with the spacecraft itself and the surrounding environment.

Plato Probes

The Plato Probe operates in the bulk of a plasma and measures parameters even when depositing an insulating layer up to 100 microns thick on the probe surface.

Bdot Probes

The Bdot Probe measures the time varying rate of change in the magnetic field in the bulk of the plasma.

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