Colloquium # 294

Exploring possibility of using a Compact ECR Plasma Source for plasma thruster applications

By Prof. A. Ganguli, IIT Delhi

Friday, Jan 18th 2019 at 3:30 PM
Seminar Hall


The Compact ECR Plasma Source (CEPS) is a patented device developed by the Plasma Group at IIT Delhi. In general, the CEPS are permanent magnet based highly portable, high density plasma sources that afford great flexibility in the manner in which they may be used. They can be used singly as stand-alone sources to fill any moderately sized chamber with high-density plasma, or they may be used in multi-CEPS configurations to fill very large volume (industrial sized) chambers with plasma. Currently our group is involved in adapting the CEPS for plasma thruster applications in deep space applications. To this end, the source was first connected to a small test chamber and its plasma and thruster properties evaluated in detail. These results have some very unique features which will be presented in the talk.  Recently, additional experiments have been undertaken with the CEPS attached to a large chamber. The results from these experiments are considerably different from those obtained using the test system mentioned above. A novel feature of these experiments is that using specially designed, ceramic protected Langmuir probes it has been possible to probe the plasma inside the CEPS. The results are extremely encouraging since they show that the plasma can acquire very high plasma potentials near the ECR zone, which can be used for providing strong electrostatic acceleration to the ions. Results from these and other related experiments (that can extend operation of the CEPS to low pressures) will be presented in the talk

About the speaker

Prof. Ganguli graduated in Electrical Engineering from IIT Delhi and obtained his doctoral degree from IISc Bangalore on Laser Plasma Interaction. Thereafter he joined the Centre for Energy Studies at IIT Delhi in 1978. His primary contribution was to initiate a research lab for experimental plasmas. Today the lab is dedicated to fairly focused research in different types of Plasma Sources like, ECR sources for various applications, Helicon sources, RF sources, DC discharges, etc. A major contribution from the lab has been a patent on a Compact ECR Plasma Source and another patent is pending approval on a scheme for industrial sized Large Volume Plasma System.