Member-Only Tours

Behind-the-Scenes Technical Tours for Members Only

All tours are scheduled on Fridays
1:45 – 2:00 p.m. – Arrival and Check-in
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Tour

Plasmadynamics and Electric Propulsion Laboratory (PEPL) at University of Michigan

Friday, June 15, 2018


Founded in 1992, the Plasmadynamics and Electric Propulsion Laboratory is now one of the world’s leading electric propulsion research centers. The centerpiece of the laboratory is the Large Vacuum Test Facility (LVTF). Attendees will experience the following:

  • The largest Hall effect thruster in the world (the X-3) which has been operated at 100 kW.  This system is a precursor unit for cargo and crewed missions to Mars.
  • The most sophisticated research Hall effect thruster in the world (the H9), a 9-kW Hall effect thruster with extensibility to NASA’s thrusters.
  • A tour of the Large Vacuum Test Facility, the largest academic vacuum test facility in the world, featuring 19 cryopumps and 4 roughing pump.
  • Overview and tour of PEPL’s five smaller test facilities employed for fundamental plasma research and the investigation of micropropulsion concepts for cubesats/smallsats.
  • A walk through PEPL’s clean room showcasing the 25 year history of thruster development facilitated by the University of Michigan.

Attendees must be U.S. citizens to participate in the tour.