EP2 :: Equipo de Propulsión Espacial y Plasmas
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Equipo de Propulsion Espacial y Plasmas (EP2)


EP2 Plasma Propulsion Laboratory

XTT vacuum chamber

XTT vacuum chamber.

The EP2 plasma propulsion laboratory was inaugurated by the end of 2015. Its main piece of equipment is a large vacuum chamber optimized for the experimental analysis of plasma thrusters, with the following characteristics:

  • Optimized for the testing of low-mid power Hall effect, gridded ion and RF thrusters (helicon, ECR) up to approx. 2 kW.
  • Dimensions: 1.5 m inner diameter, 3.5 m long.
  • Vessel made of stainless steel 304.
  • Great optical and mechanical accessibility: multiple interchangeable DN250CF windows and flanges at different locations; two full diameter access doors.
  • Easily expansible in length and in pumping capacity.
  • Vacuum performances (certified by Oerlikon Leybold):
    • Continuous operation with 20 sccm of Ar or Xe at 2 × 10-5 mbar for 5 days.
    • Ultimate vacuum pressure < 10-8 mbar.
  • Vacuum technology:
    • Fully oil-free vacuum system.
    • Rough/vacuum mechanical dry pump, Leyvac LV80 (80 m3/h).
    • 2 magnetically levitated Turbomolecular pumps, MAGW2.200iP (2000 l/s each).
    • 3 Cryopanels, Leyvac 140 T-V (combined pumping speed 30000 l/s Xe).
    • Full-range pressure sensors, Ionvac (5 × 10-10 - 1000 mbar).
  • High-accuracy calibrated mass flow controllers for two independent lines of Ar and Xe.
  • Leak detector Leybold L300i (minimum threshold of leak detection 5 × 10-12 mbar l/s).

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