Small Scale Vacuum Chamber
Arcjet propulsion systems and their numerical modeling and optimization are one of the main investigation topics in the division Thermofluid Dynamics. In order for the numerical simulations to accurately represent real applications, experimental validations of the used models must be carried out. This means, that the normal operation conditions of arcjet thrusters must be simulated under laboratory conditions. To achieve this, the division Thermofluid Dynamics disposes of a small scale vacuum chamber. The spherical formed chamber has a total volume of approx. 10 litre and is operated together with a rotary vane pump. The setup is completed with several pressure and mass flow sensors and reaches steady pressure values below 1 Pa. The setup enables the experimental study of arcjet thrusters in a pressure environment comparable to the operation conditions of satellites in low earth orbits and facilitates the validation of numerical models of arcjet propulsion systems.