The PHDX is a staged program to explore magneto-kinetic compression of a Field Reversed Configuration (FRC ) in a large (0.4 m radius), high voltage θ-pinch chamber, accelerating and compressing the FRC through a series of small radius sections. The goal of the PHD experiment is to compress and confine a very hot and dense plasma long enough to demonstrate a scaling law consistent with a viable power plant. This concept is unique in it's ultimate reliance on cyclical operation with an attractive linear flow geometry.
The goal of the Electrodeless Lorentz Force Thruster (ELF) program is to develop a new type of plasma thruster that is capable of efficiently accelerating virtually any type of propellant to high velocities (10000-40000 m/s), and is capable of high power operation (>100 kW). It's simple electrodeless design is inherently lightweight with a virtually limitless operation lifetime.
With the discovery of a new class of electromagnetic pulsed plasma propulsion devices such as the Electrodeless Lorentz Force (ELF) Thruster, it is critical to characterize current, and develop new, materials for these systems that exhibit superior performance under the demanding conditions of space propulsion or directed energy. The aim is to discover and develop fundamental and integrated science among materials science, electric propulsion, and electro energetic physics that advances not only pulsed plasma thruster development but any future space power and propulsion concepts based on high energy density plasmas.