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    Look inside HPEPL's vacuum test facility 2 (VTF-2), one of the largest chambers in academia
  • Cylindrical Helicon Discharge chamber using Ammonia
  • Plume characterization tests for a gridded helicon thruster - 600 W
  • HPEPL graduate students
  • COMET Hall Effect Thruster operating in HPEPL's VTF-2
  • RIT-10 – Operating (no neutralizer) with RPA
  • 200-W Hall Thruster
  • Operation of a 1.5-kW Annular Helicon Plasma Source

About HPEPL:

The High-Power Electric Propulsion Laboratory (HPEPL) at the Georgia Institute of Technology Department of Aerospace Engineering was founded in 2005 under the direction of Prof. Mitchell Walker. Our primary interests lie in the characterization of electric propulsion (EP) devices, plasma physics, non-invasive plasma diagnostics, and vacuum test facility effects on ther performance of EP devices. 

Our Mission:

To advance our understanding of plasma physics and further the technology of electric propulsion devices for future space applications 

Our Goals:

1) To increase the performance and efficiency of high-power electric propulsion devices

2) To identify and understand spacecraft integration issues that may prevent widespread use of EP systems on spacecraft

3) To understand the life-limiting factors of EP devices

4) To identify non-propulsion applications of EP systems (e.g., space-plasma simulation and re-entry flow simulation)

Lab Capabilities

HPEPL is a leading academic research lab with an array of capabilities suitable for advancing research in electric propulsion technology. Learn more of HPEPL's laboratory facilities, EP devices, and plasma diagnostics below:


An extensive overview of HPEPL's high-vacuum test facilities, supporting mechanical equipment, and controlled environments for assembly & integration of EP devices. 


Electric propulsion devices and plasma sources used for research in our laboratory.


A comprehensive description of HPEPL's plasma diagnostics.


The latest developments regarding our research, personnel accomplishments, and publications.