Space Physics Student Projects

Students Grace Gong and Nina Arcot

Ultrathin Foil floating Project

Ultrathin (~10 nm) carbon foils are an essential component of many space instruments, such as the IMAP mission's SWAPI instrument, but their installation often does not follow standardized procedures. To install a foil in an instrument, the foil must first be floated onto a metallic flight grid in a process known as foil floating. Variations in foil floating affect the quality of foils, thereby affecting the performance of space instruments. Thus, this joint undergrad-masters thesis project sought to design a standardized foil floating procedure to improve space mission outcomes. This project involved the creation of a foil floating station within the Space Physics Lab's clean-room, as well as microscopic analysis in the Imaging and Analysis Center to characterize foil samples. This standardized procedure, and any modifications derived from further analysis, will be used in the Princeton Space Physics Lab and can be adapted for use by other institutions worldwide.

Sydney Evans

Lab Monitoring and Lab System Development

For Sydney's senior thesis work with the Princeton Space Physics Lab, she focused on lab environmental monitoring and Lab system development and diagnostics. She developed the software component for interfacing with the lab's Particle Counter, which measures lab contamination and she evaluated the lab's humidity and its consistency after the installation of a new HVAC system. She further created software to display power fluctuations within the lab using Line Voltage Monitor. Sydney developed lab tools to improve communication between lab computers and created a program that could mirror the lab's Main Chamber System and display the real-time status of the lab through a YouTube live stream. She also created a flexible alert system for monitoring the safe state of the lab's Main Chamber system. Over the summer between her Junior and Senior year, Sydney continued working in the lab and was involved in the initial installation of the Bake-out Chamber. To round out this experience and her thesis, Sydney developed the software which will be used to monitor the Bake-out Chamber System. 

Lab Monitoring