Astro 250 Course Syllabus

Syllabus - Astro 250 Space Physics Laboratory 1 (non-credit – P/F)

Grading: Class participation (30%), Demo homework (30%), Project proposal (40%)
NOTE – The order and scheduling of some topics may change, depending on the ongoing work in the laboratory at the time.

Week 1: Introduction to Space Physics Laboratory
•    Course Introduction with Q&A
•    Princeton University Fundamentals of Laboratory Safety 1-5 and test (online)
Princeton University Environmental Health & Safety (link is external)
•    Laboratory Safety Training (Instructor-led)
Princeton University Environmental Health & Safety (link is external)
Week 2: Space Physics Laboratory-specific Safety & Project kickoff
•    Introductory tour of the lab
•    Detailed discussion of lab-specific safety topics, best safety practices/risk mitigation, and actions to take when issues arise
•    Initial discussion of specific team project(s) for class
(Team Project Definition: Conduct research on the mechanical, electrical, system, software, and control functions needed for specific team project; define all system requirements for project completion; develop initial ideas for solutions and implementation, including draft schedules, milestones, and deliverables to complete project ins AST 251 the following semester)
Week 3: Introduction to Ultra-high Vacuum systems 1
•    Basic physics of vacuum systems
•    Overview of Vacuum system hardware (CF & KF flanges, cryopumps, turbopumps, GV’s angle valves, etc.)
•    Leak-rate demonstration
(Data analysis homework: analyze pressure vs time data, perform leak rate calculations, and research various materials outgassing properties)
Week 4: Introduction to Ultra-high Vacuum systems 2
•    Pump-down process
•    Back-to-atmosphere process
•    RGA demo
Week 5: Working in the Clean Room
•    Basic overview of NASA cleanliness standards/principles
•    Walk-through of gowning and de-gowning
•    Particle counter-demonstration
(Data analysis homework: analyze particle count rate data, perform cleanliness calculations, and research cleanroom techniques and implications)
Week 6: Basic Laboratory Electronics 1
•    Basics of signals and Oscilloscope measurements
•    Basics of soldering and cable-making
Week 7: Basic Laboratory Electronics 2
•    Overview of electronics in the monitoring and controls system
•    Discussion of low & high voltage areas of the lab
•    Faraday cup, positioning system, line voltage monitor, magnetometer, etc.
Week 8: Ion Source Design and Operation
•    Basic physics of how the source & Wien Filter operate
•    Demo of ion source and ion mass selection
•    (Data analysis homework: analyze ion source, system, and beam data; perform ion mass analysis calculations, and research Wien Filter mass analysis)
Week 9: Brainstorm Project Ideas
•    Exploration of what is involved in actual laboratory projects
Week 10: Project Development 1
•    Initial scope definition, identifying tools and  
Week 11: Project Development 2
•    Develop a full project proposal
Week 12: Present Project Proposal