Space Physics Lab

Space Physics Lab

The Space Physics group in the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University carries out a broad range of research spanning from the Sun and solar corona, through the solar wind and terrestrial and planetary magnetospheres, and encompassing the global heliosphere and its interaction with the local interstellar medium. Prof. David J. McComas is the Principle Investigator for numerous NASA Heliophysics missions and instruments, making Princeton the lead institution for these programs.

The New Space Physics Lab at 171 Broadmead is being set up to develop instruments for IMAP and other future NASA missions.  Space flight instruments will be mounted in the large chamber with various species of ions and neutral with energies from ~0.5 -30 keV produced in a source at the far end of the beamline.  Below are a few photos documenting the progress on the development of our lab.

Lab Updates

September 2020. Vacuum chamber and cryopumps

24 September 2020: Two cryopumps have been mounted on the top, but so far only the West pump is running. After three weeks of pumping, the base pressure in the main chamber is already below 2x10-8 Torr. The beamline extends out to the right and we are about to attach the magnetic levitation turbo-pump on the stand at the far right.

Beamline added to main chamber

24 July 2020: The Main chamber is bolted to the floor and beamline is attached. We still need to install pumps, seal the system, and pump it out… lots of work to go but as you can see, we’re pretty happy!

Vacuum chamber arrival at BroadmeadBolting chamber to the floor

1-2 July 2020: We were finally allowed back on campus in a COVID-19 socially-distanced way and entered our (empty) Lab at 171 Broadmead. Within days we moved our main chamber from the warehouse elsewhere on campus, de-crated it outside the building, and moved it down into the Lab.