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    Ion Thruster Plasma Measurements IV (Honorable Mention)  


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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.


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The 2009 Art of Science Competition was made possible by Student Affairs, the Art Committee, and Robert and Esther Metzner.
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