Hypervelocity Impacts and Dusty Plasma Lab (HIDPL) - Dr. Hyde, Dr. Matthews, Dr. Kong, Dr. Qiao
Space Science Lab (SSL) - Dr. Hyde, Dr. Laufer, Dr. Matthews
Baylor's Hypervelocity Impacts & Dusty Plasmas Lab (HIDPL) and Space Science Lab (SSL) conduct experimental research across a number of space physics areas and offers both basic research as well as engineering and design opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students. Current research topics within the HIDPL include laboratory simulations of gravitoelectrodynamics, protoplanetary/protostellar evolution, grain charging in dense and tenuous dusty plasmas, grain coagulation in nebular clouds, and hypervelocity and low velocity shock physics. Additional research is being conducted in the areas of impact studies, dust detector sensor design and calibration as well as prototype design of dust particle accelerators.
Current research topics within the SSL include dust detector space flight instrumentation design, calibration and prototyping. The most recent flight instrument flown is the Piezo Dust Detector which was flown on a sounding rocket launched from Wallops in August of 2012 and is scheduled to be placed in low Earth orbit in early 2015.
The HIDPL and SSL are located in outstanding facilities within the new Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC) in the Central Texas Technology and Research Park. The BRIC is conveniently positioned to all modes of commercial land-based and airborne transport, providing CASPER researchers, industry/business clients and partnering institutions and organizations with over 300,000 square feet of functional space designed and appointed as laboratories for prototyping and testing, offices and workspace, workforce training, business formation and development activities and meeting/symposium halls. Within the BRIC, CASPER also features museum-quality scientific/technical artifact exhibits designed to spark interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics among area K-12 students and the community in general.
Researchers within the HIDPL have access to multiple experimental plasma systems covering a wide range of operating conditions including two GEC RF Reference Cells (one of which is equipped with a Zyvex S100 nanomanipulator) and an Inductively Coupled Plasma (IPG) system. The lab also contains an electrostatic accelerator fitted for dust particle acceleration, two frequency doubled Nd:YVO4 lasers (Coherent-Verdi), a Ti-Sapphire laser system and a single and two stage light gas accelerator system. Full diagnostics for the above are available.
Full on-site technical support is available in the areas of CAD/CAM, electrical discharge machining, lab safety, lasers, manufacturing, non-destructive testing/preventive maintenance, numerical control integration, plasma drag accelerators, system instrumentation, vacuum systems and welding. On-site fabrication and production capabilities are available through CASPER for use by contracting agencies. (All fabrication or modification requests must be scheduled well in advance of the start of the contract or collaboration.) Information concerning lead times and/or costs should be directed to Truell Hyde.
Graduate students within CASPER's experimental group are supported either by their department, outside funding, research contracts or some combination of the above. In addition, NASA/Texas Space Grant Consortium Fellowships are also available for both graduate and undergraduate students pursuing a degree at Baylor University in any of the areas within the Center. Information concerning openings within the ASSTG, EUCOS or the HIDPL or the possibility of collaborative efforts with either should be directed to Truell Hyde.
Specific areas of current interest include:
Flight Materials Certification Studies
Engineering/New Program Development Studies