Space simulation chamber
Examining electric propulsion systems
The Institute of Plasma Physics and Laser Microfusion (IFPiLM) in Warsaw carries out basic plasma physics research. Under the auspices of the European Union‘s 7th Framework Program for Research, this institute is developing and examining electric space propulsion systems.
These electric space propulsion systems - due to their active principle also known as ion thrusters, or plasma thrusters - use the jet force principle similar to conventional rocket systems.
While conventional rocket systems are obliged to carry vast quantities of fuel to generate sufficient thrust, electric propulsion systems accelerate small particles to high speeds using an electric field, and expel them from the thruster at an extremely high velocity. This high exhaust velocity drastically reduces the quantity of fuel needed. This property of the ion thrusters makes them ideal for correcting the position of satellites.
The vacuum solution
The vacuum solution developed by Pfeiffer Vacuum is tailored to meet the specific requirements of this application and the specification drawn up by IFPiLM:
A horizontal, cylindrical vacuum chamber with a volume of 2 m3 was specially designed for this purpose. This chamber has a glass bead blasted interior which reduces the outgassing rates from the surfaces and so achieves fast pump-down times. A stainless steel door with a fast opening and closing mechanism was provided to allow the customer easy access into the chamber. The chamber was fitted with a variety of flanges to give the customer a wide range of options for attaching additional components. The customer also asked for ± 25 mm of height adjustment for the whole chamber.
Read more about this state of the art technology in the attached application report.
Should you have any further question, do not hesitate to contact us.