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Electric Propulsion Research Building

The Electric Propulsion Research Building (EPRB) has eight vacuum chambers and over half a dozen bell jars that provide the required simulated space to conduct fundamental research in space power and electric propulsion.

Facility Overview

Environmental portrait
Environmental portrait of Rohit Shastry inside the Electric Propulsion Research Building.

The Electric Propulsion Research Building (EPRB) supports research and development of spacecraft power, electric propulsion, and space environmental effects. Presently, EPRB is supporting research focused on ion thrusters, magneto plasma dynamic thrusters, pulsed plasma thrusters, stirling engine converters, regenerative fuel cells, space plasma potentials, and atomic oxygen.

The cornerstone to EPRB’s research capabilities results from its suite of space simulation chambers. EPRB chambers range in size from bench top bell jars to 3-meters in diameter and are equipped with various pumping systems (cryopumps, diffusion pumps, oil-free pumping trains, and high-throughput roots-blowers) depending upon the specific requirements of a test program. In addition, EPRB has over 20,000 sq ft of specialty labs, build-up area and machine shop area. EPRB works synergistically with other larger vacuum facilities located at GRC.

Technical Capabilities Assessment Team
Technical Capabilities Assessment Team (TCAT) In-Space Propulsion.

Research that is initiated in EPRB on a concept or component level leads to a system or higher fidelity tests in facilities such as VF-5 (very high pumping speed), VF-6 (unique in its solar simulator capabilities and electric propulsion features), or SPF (world’s largest vacuum chamber). This insures that these world-class facilities are effectively utilized and that research is done in the most cost-effective manner possible.

EPRB has eight vacuum chambers and over half a dozen bell jars that provide the required simulated space to conduct fundamental research in space power and electric propulsion. These vacuum facilities are further enhanced to insure GRC continues to provide the technology development necessary for NASA to explore the solar system.

Quick Facts

The Electric Propulsion Research Building (EPRB) capability centers on its suite of vacuum chambers, which are configured to meet the unique requirements related to electric propulsion, spacecraft power, and space environmental effects. EPRB chambers range in size from bench top bell jars to 3-meters in diameter and are equipped with a variety of pumping systems (cryopumps, diffusion pumps, oil-free pumping trains, and high-throughput roots-blowers). In addition to the vacuum chambers, EPRB provides over 20,000 sq ft of specialty labs, clean rooms, and assembly rooms.

Name Electric Propulsion Research Building
Vacuum Facilities
  • MPD Testbed (VF-1)
  • Low Flow Propulsion (VF-2)
  • PPT Testbed (VF-3)
  • High Electric Propulsion Vacuum Facility (VF-7)
  • Atomic Oxygen (VF-9)
  • Space Power Components (VF-10)
  • Ion Propulsion Testbed (VF-11)
  • Turbopump Belljar (VF-14)
  • Electrostatic Thruster Testing (VF-16)
  • Hollow Cathode Life Testing (VF-61)
Total Area 40,000 square feet

Capabilities

General EPRB Capabilities

Vacuum Facility 1 (VF-1)

Vacuum Facility 2 (VF-2)

Vacuum Facility 3 (VF-3)

Vacuum Facility 7 (VF-7)

Vacuum Facility 9 (VF-9)

Vacuum Facility 10 (VF-10)

Vacuum Facility 11 (VF-11)

Vacuum Facility 14 (VF-14)

Vacuum Facility 16 (VF-16)

Vacuum Facility 61 (VF-61)

Vacuum Facility 62 (VF-62)

Vacuum Facility 65 (VF-65)

Vacuum Facility 69 (VF-69)

Contact

Electric Propulsion Research Building (EPRB)
Facility Manager: Mary J. Lobo
216-433-8398
Mary.J.Lobo@nasa.gov

Testing Division
21000 Brookpark Rd., MS 6-8
Cleveland, Ohio 44135
216-433-8301
William.P.Camperchioli@nasa.gov

If you are unsure about whom to contact about a specific facility question, please call our main number at 216-433-4000.

Using Our Facilities

NASA’s Glenn Research Center provides ground test facilities to industry, government, and academia. If you are considering testing in one of our facilities or would like further information about a specific facility or capability, please let us know.

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