Date of Defense
Date of Graduation
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Electric Propulsion Systems are the future of deep space travel. Since its design in 2016 Western Michigan University has been testing a Hall-Thruster from a previous Senior Design Group. One issue with Electric Propulsion Systems is tracing where the electrons go after being used to ionize propellant for spacecraft acceleration. Induced magnetic fields on Earth alter the electron paths found in the vacuum of space.
One solution is the EP TEMPEST. The EP TEMPEST is an electron tracer designed by the Air Force Research Laboratory. The goal of this project is to design an electron tracer like the EP TEMPEST but on a smaller scale.
The design of an electron tracer would consist of the use of SolidWorks to create a visual model of the electron tracer and COMSOL Multiphysics ® to simulate the conditions within the electron tracer while a thruster is running.
Backe, Joseph, "Charge tracing for determining electrical facility effects on electric spacecraft propulsion systems." (2021). Honors Theses. 3389.
Honors Thesis-Open Access
Charge Tracing for Determining Electrical Facility Effects on Electric Spacecraft Propulsion Systems.mp4 (187546 kB)
Charge Tracing for Determining Electrical Facility Effects on Electric Spacecraft Propulsion Systems