Validation and Characterization of a Laboratory Ion Source for Testing Thermal Space-Plasma Instruments

dc.contributor.authorRobertson, Ellen Faithen
dc.contributor.committeechairEarle, Gregory D.en
dc.contributor.committeememberTront, Joseph G.en
dc.contributor.committeememberSrinivasan, Bhuvanaen
dc.contributor.committeememberScales, Wayne A.en
dc.contributor.committeememberBailey, Scott M.en
dc.contributor.departmentElectrical Engineeringen
dc.date.accessioned2019-10-18T08:01:15Zen
dc.date.available2019-10-18T08:01:15Zen
dc.date.issued2019-10-17en
dc.description.abstractPrior to launch, space craft instruments need to be tested in a relevant environment to prove operational functionality. Thus, we have developed an ion source to stimulate thermal plasma instruments in a vacuum chamber. This dissertation presents the mechanical design of the source, simulations of the potentials and charged particle trajectories in and around the source, and vacuum chamber measurements of the emitted ion beam. Once the ion source is understood, it is successfully used to test a typical ion instrument. Further aspects of the ion source, efficiency, thermionic filament emission, and collision frequencies are also discussed.en
dc.description.abstractgeneralSatellites have become a critical resource for business and governments. The study of the high edge of the earth’s atmosphere, where satellites operate, is difficult because the physics of this region is so complex. More measurements of the upper atmosphere are needed to understand exactly how it works and improve the computer models simulating the atmosphere. The instruments used to measure this region need to be validated before they are launched. This dissertation describes the design and testing of an ion source device that can produce charged particles in a very low pressure environment, such as a vacuum chamber, to create conditions similar to those an instrument would encounter in orbit. Computer simulations and physical tests of the source are presented, compared, and found to match. Finally, an actual satellite instrument is successfully validated with the source.en
dc.description.degreeDoctor of Philosophyen
dc.format.mediumETDen
dc.identifier.othervt_gsexam:22441en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/94631en
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.rights.urihttp://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/en
dc.subjectSpace Scienceen
dc.subjectIon sourceen
dc.subjectSimulationsen
dc.subjectPlasmaen
dc.subjectVacuum Testingen
dc.subjectSatellite Instrumentationen
dc.titleValidation and Characterization of a Laboratory Ion Source for Testing Thermal Space-Plasma Instrumentsen
dc.typeDissertationen
thesis.degree.disciplineElectrical Engineeringen
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen
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