Kettering's CPDL brings outer space to cyberspace

By Website Administrator | Apr 5, 2002

The Computational Plasma Dynamics Laboratory (CPDL) at Kettering didn't need the power of hall thrusters to launch its latest project -- they just needed a virtual push into cyberspace to get their new web site into orbit.

The Computational Plasma Dynamics Laboratory (CPDL) at Kettering didn't need the power of hall thrusters to launch its latest project -- they just needed a virtual push into cyberspace to get their new web site into orbit. The coordinates are: http://cpdl.kettering.edu, where the latest in electric propulsion, plasma dynamics and fluid dynamics research can be found.

Research projects currently featured on the site include hall thrusters, magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters, multiscale algorithms, sheath physics, solar and magnetospheric plasma, self-gravitating magnetized plasma, jet impingement heat transfer, film cooling and external flow. Three of the projects have animated simulations to help explain their results.

The CPDL is the first dedicated space-related research environment at Kettering. It is the brainchild of Dr. K. Joel Berry, department head of Mechanical Engineering, and Dr. Subrata Roy, assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of the CPDL. In addition to Dr. Berry and Dr. Roy, the research team includes Dr. Birendra Pandey, post doctoral research fellow for the NASA lab, four graduate and one undergraduate student.

The goals of the lab include promoting the exchange of the latest scientific and technical information to improve efficiency of high altitude and orbital space missions by understanding the dynamics of plasma, and provide students an opportunity to study high-speed propulsion, plasma physics and related technologies using advanced computational tools.

Funding for the research comes from NASA's Glenn Research Center for On-Board Propulsion, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI).