Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Application of Plasma on Reentry Vehicle Communication and Interplanetary Spacecraft Sterilization
by Fenstermacher, Jarrod J., D.Sc., The George Washington University, 2012, 196; 3490103
Abstract (Summary)

In order to gain a better understanding of the reactions occurring during reentry at the gas-surface interface, a reactive ion etch (RIE) plasma device was augmented to more accurately represent how material may paralyze in the presence of plasma. The device inflow was augmented to include a nitrogen line, and the outflow augmented to allow chemical analysis. A nichrome resistor heater was added to raise sample temperatures to pyrolysis levels.

Cryo-focusing was performed on pyrolysis gases in order to test the ability to quantify compounds released during heating. This was done using liquid nitrogen prior to compounds entering the gas chromatography column.

The nitrogen line also allowed initial study into the use of the RIE machine for planetary protection experiments due to the biocidal properties of Nitrogen/Oxygen plasma. This included static build-up experiments on equipment sensitive to electrostatic discharge.

Experiments were also carried out using George Washington University's Vacuum Arc Thruster (VAT). The VAT was used in an attempt to catalyze spallation from a silicon phenolic thermal protection system material (TPS).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Keidar, Michael
Commitee: Cohen, David, Eisler, Gerald R., Leng, Yongsheng, Pinol, Lesly
School: The George Washington University
Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-B 73/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Aerospace engineering, Mechanical engineering, Plasma physics
Keywords: Electrostatic discharge, Plasma, Reentry vehicles, Sterilization, Vehicle communication
Publication Number: 3490103
ISBN: 978-1-267-10410-6
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