Baylor's Hypervelocity Impacts & Dusty Plasmas Lab (HIDPL) conducts research in a number of areas and offers both basic research as well as engineering and design opportunities for graduate, undergraduate and technical support students. Current research topics include laboratory simulations of meso and nanostructure formation, complex plasmas, dust contamination in fusion systems, gravitoelectrodynamics, protoplanetary/protostellar evolution, grain charging in dense and tenuous dusty plasmas, grain coagulation in nebular clouds, ordered grain lattice formation within complex plasmas, wave propagation and dispersion relationships through ordered and disordered complex plasmas as well as numerical modeling of hypervelocity and low velocity shock physics. Additional research is being conducted in the areas of impact studies, sensor design and calibration as well as prototype design of dust particle accelerators. Many of the above are relatively new research areas and as such show great potential for growth.
The HIDPL is located in outstanding facilities within the new Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC) located 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.