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PVD Coatings

Your guide to PVD technology, theory and applications

Plasma Rocket

Posted by mark00 On April - 1 - 2010

Plasma test shots from the VASIMR VX-100 prototype plasma rocket housed at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The video is slowed down to 1/2 speed. In general, these types of thrusters (ion thrusters, Hall thrusters, and VASIMR) take advantage of extremely high exhaust velocities and generally have the ability to operate continuously for months. Although the thrust is much lower than a chemical rocket, the ultimate speed and/or payload fraction delivered is generally much higher.

A new higher power rocket (VX-200) is being constructed and will be tested in a new vacuum chamber that is large enough to drive a full size school bus into (with room to spare).

The Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR) is now operated by the Ad Astra Rocket Company, created by former astronaut Dr. Franklin Chang-Diaz (7 Space Shuttle flights).

The small plasma reaction paddle has the same diameter and weight as a US half dollar and is made out of titanium.

Ad Astra Rocket Company

More pictures of the last shot at:

Plasma ball

Posted by mark00 On February - 27 - 2010

This is a plasma ball located in the Scitech museum in Western Australia

* Museum Exhibit Display
* Definition: Kinetic Plasma Display/Sculpture
* Total Height: 62 inches (5 foot 4 inches) tall.
* Globe Width/Diameter: 24 inches wide.
* Globe: Hand-blown Borosilicate/Pyrex (Corning) crystal sphere.
* Power supply (included): 240/220volts AC
* Cabinet Finish: Satin Black Matt
* Electrode: Thinly coated Silver Colloidal on inner electrode terminal wall.
* Glass wall: minimum 8-10mm with maximum 20mm near tapered neck.
* Fill Mixture: Research Purity Grade Inert Gas (non toxic) plus catalysts.
* Run time testing = 36 hours continuous for testing.
* Condition: Filled 2008 – ‘Vintage’ 1988 Borosilicate Corning Crystal globe.
* Cabinet Door affixed with 2x Phillips screws & ventilation.
* Color: Unique steel-blue & violet with crimson highlight effect
* Discharge effect: Single streamer from electrode to top of the sphere, which then splits and creates a “plasma dome” or “inverted cauldron” effect. The high conductance of the gas combination means a single fingertip will attract the plasma strands on contact. (see video) Glass walls are thermal shock resistant.