Hypervelocity Impacts & Dusty Plasma Lab
Both the Hypervelocity Impacts and Dusty Plasma Lab (HIDPL) and Space Science Lab (SSL) are directed by Dr. Truell Hyde and conduct research across a wide variety of physics areas. Together, they offer basic research as well as engineering and design opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students. A sampling of current research topics include laboratory experiments in complex plasma (under gravity within the HIDPL and microgravity employing the PK-4 on board the International Space Station), protoplanetary/protostellar evolution, self-assembling systems, soft matter, dust mitigation on the lunar surface, grain charging and coagulation in nebular clouds, dust detector sensor design and calibration and prototype development of dust detectors for space flight missions including cubesats and hypervelocity.
Group Faculty Members
Currently Funded Research (Funding Agency - Research Topic)
- NSF - Numerical Studies in Chondrule Development
- NASA - Experimental Studies in Chondrule Development
- ARL - Hypersonics Material Testing
- NSF / DOE - IonWakefields
- NASA / JPL / NSF - Plasma-Kristall 4 (ISS)
- NASA / JPL - Lunar Dust Mitigation
- DIII-D - DOE
- NSF / DOE - Dust as a diagnostic
Current Graduate Students
Researchers within the HIDPL/SSL have access to multiple experimental plasma systems covering a wide range of operating conditions including two GEC RF Reference Cells (one of which is equipped with a Zyvex S100 nanomanipulator), a custom RF cell that can accept lower electrodes as large as 24 inches in diameter and an Inductively Coupled Plasma (IPG) system. The labs also contain an electrostatic accelerator fitted for dust particle acceleration, two frequency doubled Nd:YVO4 lasers (Coherent-Verdi), a Ti-Sapphire laser system and a single and two stage light gas accelerator system. Full diagnostics for the above are available.
The HIDPL/SSL is located within the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC) in the Central Texas Technology and Research Park. The BRIC is conveniently positioned to all modes of commercial land-based and airborne transport, providing CASPER researchers, industry/business clients and partnering institutions and organizations with over 300,000 square feet of functional space designed and appointed as laboratories for prototyping and testing, offices and workspace, workforce training, business formation and development activities and meeting/symposium halls. Within the BRIC, CASPER also features museum-quality scientific/technical artifact exhibits designed to spark interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics among area K-12 students and the community in general.
Full on-site technical support is available in the areas of CAD/CAM, electrical discharge machining, lab safety, lasers, manufacturing, non-destructive testing/preventive maintenance, numerical control integration, plasma drag accelerators, system instrumentation, vacuum systems and welding. On-site fabrication and production capabilities are available through CASPER for use by contracting agencies. (All fabrication or modification requests must be scheduled well in advance of the start of the contract or collaboration.) Information concerning lead times and/or costs should be directed to Truell Hyde.