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The EPL can support all phases of a propulsion or power system program from inception through operational testing of flight-ready hardware

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Hull thruster testing in the EPL Post construction photos of the Space Power Facility, SPF, Space Environment Testing, SET, Mechanical Vibration, MVF, and Reverberant Acoustical Test, RATF
Space Simulation Facilities (Lewis Field)
The space simulation facilities listed below are located at Lewis Field, NASA Glenn Research Center's Cleveland location. The facility names in bold below link directly to the related facility site pages.


Vacuum Facility (VF-1): Magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thruster test facility. Pulsed or steady state power systems available.
  • Dimension: 1.5m diameter x 4.5m long
  • Pumping Speed: 4x104 l/s @ 10-6 torr (air)
  • Ultimate Pressure (no load): 3x10-7 torr
  • Capacitor bank providing 250 kJ for 2-msec pulsed power; >30MW pulsed power

Vacuum Facility (VF-2): Electrodeless thruster and low flow propulsion test bed with turbopump based clean pumping train.
  • Dimension: 1.0m diameter x 2.2m long
  • Pumping Speed: 1.95 x103 l/s @ 10-5 torr (air)
  • Ultimate Pressure (No Load): 1 x10-6 torr

Vacuum Facility (VF-3): Pulsed Plasma Thruster Test Bed. Oil Diffusion pumped facility with impulse thrust stand for pulsed thruster performance characterizations.
  • Dimension: 1.5m diameter x 4.5m long
  • Pumping Speed: 8 x104 l/s @ 10-6 torr (air)
  • Ultimate Pressure (No Load): 4x10-7 torr
  • Test Ports: 0.8m x 0.9m end test port; 0.3m side port

Vacuum Facility (VF-4)
  • Dimension: 1.5m diameter x 4.5m long
  • Pumping Speed: N/A
  • Currently Non-Operational

Vacuum Facility (VF-5): High Power Electric Propulsion System Test Bed. High pumping rate for high-fidelity electrostatic thruster performance characterization/life testing.
+ View the Fact Sheet (PDF)
  • Dimension: 4.6m diameter x 18.3m long; 4m diameter x 9m access long
  • Pumping Speed: 3.5x106 l/s @ 10-6 torr (air) w/cryosystem
  • Ultimate Pressure (No Load): 1x10-7 torr
  • Test Ports: 2- 0.9m x 0.9m long test ports; 1- 0.3m x 0.3m long test port; 1- 1.8m x 2.4m long test port

Vacuum Facility (VF-6): Multi-role facility capable of large scale thermal vacuum tests and high power electric propulsion performance/life testing.
+ View the Fact Sheet (PDF)
  • Dimension: 7.6m diameter x 21m long; 6.7m diameter x 18.3m access long
  • Pumping Speed: 9 x105 l/s @ 10-6 torr (air)
  • Ultimate Pressure (No Load): 5x10-7 torr
  • 3m x 3m test port
  • Solar simulation using 9-30kW Xenon lamps; 10% uniformity
  • LN2 cooled cold wall

Vacuum Facility (VF-7): High power electric propulsion vacuum facility with non-condensible pumping capabilities.
  • Dimension: 3m diameter x 4.6m long
  • Pumping Speed: 1.25x104 l/s @ 10-6 torr (air)
  • Ultimate Pressure (no load): 1x10-7 torr
  • Surrounded by concrete, except for outside wall
  • Operational 2005

Vacuum Facility (VF-8): Low Power Electric Propulsion testbed. Sub 5 kW thruster performance and component tests.
  • Dimension: 1.5m diameter x 4.5m long; 1.3m x 4.3 access
  • Pumping Speed: 1.2x105 l/s @ 10-5 torr (air)
  • Ultimate Pressure (No Load): 4x10-7 torr
  • 0.9m x 0.8m end test port; 0.6m x 0.6m side port; H2, N2 and NH4 gaseous feed systems

Large Area Atomic Oxygen Vacuum Facility (VF-9): Provides uniform exposure to atomic oxygen for removal of surface organics over roughly 1.5m x 2m area that is less than 5 cm thick.
  • Dimension: 0.6m x 1.5m x 2.5m
  • Pumping Speed: 15m3/min @ 1x10-2 bar (air)
  • Ultimate Pressure (No Load): 1x10-3 torr
  • RF produce Atomic Oxygen; 1.5m x 2.1m area

Exposure Facility (VF-10): Small, environmental thermal vacuum facility with liquid nitrogen cold shroud.
  • Dimension: 1.0m diameter x 1.5m long
  • Pumping Speed: 1.95 x 103 l/s for He @10-5 torr; 500 l/s for air
  • Ultimate Pressure (No Load): 8x10-7 torr
  • Thermal simulation; Infrared heat lamps

Vacuum Facility (VF-11): Ion thruster technology testbed. Full scale high-power thruster tests or component characterizations. Full diagnostics and power suite available.
  • Dimension: 2.2m diameter x 8.25m long
  • Pumping Speed: 2.7 x 105 l/s @ 10-5 torr (air)
  • Ultimate Pressure (No Load): 1x10-7 torr
  • 2- 12 in x 15 in Laser profilometer with 1 micron resolution; 2-D plume analysis rake with electrostatic probes; quartz crystal microbalances; laser induced fluorescence

Vacuum Facility (VF-12): Medium to high power electrostatic thruster testbed. Full performance characterizations, diagnostic, and power suite available.
  • Dimension: 3m diameter x 9m
  • Pumping Speed: 1 x 106 l/s @ 10-5 torr (air)
  • Ultimate Pressure (No Load): 8x10-8 torr

Vacuum Facility (VF-13): Pulsed Plasma Thruster Testbed. Life and plume characterization testing.
  • Dimension: 1.5m diameter x 3.5m high
  • Pumping Speed: 1.05 x 104 l/s @ 10-6 torr (air)
  • Ultimate Pressure (No Load): 4x10-7 torr
  • Upper 2.75m of chamber is removable; pumping system can be isolated and remain chilled

Vacuum Facility (VF-14): Turbopump Belljar
  • Dimension: .6m wide x .6m long x .9m high
  • Pumping Speed: 10 x 103 l/s @ 10-6
  • Ultimate Pressure (No Load): 5x10-7 torr

Vacuum Facility (VF-16): Electrostatic Thruster test facility.
  • Dimension: 2.75m diameter x 4.5m long
  • Pumping Speed: 5x105 l/s @ 10-5 torr (air)
  • Ultimate Pressure (No Load): 7x10-8 torr
  • LN2 cooled graphite target
  • Operational 2004

Vacuum Facility (VF-61): Hollow cathode component testbed for cathode performance, ignition, and cyclic life testing.
  • Dimension: 1m diameter x 1.5m long
  • Pumping Speed: 3x 104 l/s @ 10-6 torr (air)
  • Ultimate Pressure (No Load): 3.5x10-8 torr
  • 0.33m x 0.41m end test port; 0.33m x 0.41m side test port

Vacuum Facility (VF-67): Stirling Engine performance and cyclic life test facility.
  • Dimension: 1m diameter x 3m long
  • Pumping Speed: 1 x 104 l/s @ 10-6 torr (air)
  • Ultimate Pressure (No Load): 9x10-7 torr

Vacuum Facility (CW-19): Pulsed Plasma Thruster, low flow electric propulsion test bed.
  • Dimension: 2m diameter x 3m long
  • Pumping Speed: 2.5 x 104 l/s @ 10-5 torr (air)
  • Ultimate Pressure (No Load): 5x10-7 torr

Vacuum Facility (PIF-H): Plasma exposure facility for materials, photovoltaic, and dielectric testing with thermal vacuum capability.
  • Dimension: 1.8m diameter x 1.8m long
  • Pumping Speed: 3 x 104 l/s @ 10-5 torr (air)
  • Ultimate Pressure (No Load): 1x10-6 torr
  • Plasma sources and diagnostics; Cold walls

Vacuum Facility (PIF-V): Plasma exposure facility for materials, photovoltaic, and dielectric testing with thermal vacuum capability.
  • Dimension: 1.8m diameter x 2.9m high
  • Pumping Speed: 5.3 x 103 l/s@ 10-5 torr (air)
  • Ultimate Pressure (No Load): 5x10-7 torr
  • Plasma sources and diagnostics; Cold walls; Upper 2.1m is removable for accessibility

Small Multipurpose Research Facility (SMiRF): Thermal vacuum facility with capability to safely handle gaseous and cryogenic propellants.
  • Dimension: 1.8m diameter x 2.5m length
  • Pumping Speed: 7 x 103 l/s @ 10-5 torr (air)
  • Ultimate Pressure: 8.5x10-6 torr
  • High altitude & launch pressure environments
  • LH2 and LOX (future)
  • Calorimeter testing of insulation for cryogenic propellant tanks
  • Variable cold gas cold wall (110K to 360K)

Small-Scale Vacuum Facilities: Small-scale vacuum facilities for thruster/avionics component testing.
  • Dimension: 1m dia. and smaller
  • Base pressures: from 1 x 10-8 to 1 x 10-5 torr
  • Oil free pumping available

Point of contact: Mary J. Lobo (216-433-8398)
Email: Mary.J.Lobo@nasa.gov


 
 
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Last Updated: January 14, 2014