go to Caltech Home
image
image
 
home current exhibition submission archive about us contact
     
    Ion Thruster Plasma Measurements IV (Honorable Mention)  
   

 

next image

Eric Johlin
Undergraduate Student, Mechanical Engineering

Ion Thruster Plasma Measurements IV Ion engines are the most efficient propulsion method for deep space propulsion and satellite stationkeeping. In order to produce thrust, these engines must ionize heavy gas atoms (xenon, in this case) to form a plasma. The plasma here can be seen as the luminous purple ball emitting from the cathode (right of center). The probe with the tungsten filament is taking a reading at its maximum current, creating the spectacular white flare seen left of center.

johlin@caltech.edu

go to top

   

 

 
   

The 2009 Art of Science Competition was made possible by Student Affairs, the Art Committee, and Robert and Esther Metzner.
© 2017 California Institute of Technology. All Rights Reserved.