Bogazici University Space Technologies Laboratory - Department of Mechanical Engineering

Vacuum Chamber
The main research facility of the BUST-Lab is the vacuum chamber. The picture of our vacuum chamber is shown below.

After the purchase of the necessary components, the vacuum facility (1.5m in diameter and 2.7m in length) to be used in the development and testing of in-space electric propulsion systems is established. The established vacuum facility will provide the vacuum environment that is similar to the environment in low earth orbit even when a thruster is in operation inside the chamber (when releasing gas into the chamber). The vacuum facility will primarily be used to develop electric spacecraft thrusters that run on Xenon or Argon propellants.

The mechanical pump is installed to the chamber, and we observed that the chamber can sustain pressures in the order of 10-3 Torr. After we installed the chiller unit with the cryogenic pump, we observed pressures in the order of 10-8 Torr.

Very recently we have completed the manufacturing of a stand to be used in experiments and placed it inside our vacuum chamber.

After the installation of the second cryopump, the vacuum facility is fully operational.

On January 13, 2015, the prototype cusped field Hall thruster was fired for the first time. The thruster was operated for 30 minutes at a discharge voltage of 400 V with Argon propellant.

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