Adriane Faust

PhD Student

Department of Aerospace Engineering
2101 Glenn L. Martin Wind Tunnel
University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland 20742
Graduate Research Assistant
Space Power and Propulsion Laboratory
Phone: (301) 405-8562 | E-mail: afaust1 (at)

Research Interests

Helicon thruster performance, plasma diagnostics

Dissertation Topic – YouTube Video

Performance analysis of water vapor fueled helicon thruster


Current helicon thruster research focuses on comparing plasma parameter measurements from several diagnostic tools to determine the performance of the thruster fueled with argon and water vapor. Measurements of electron temperature were collected using a retarding potential analyzer, a Langmuir probe, and emission spectroscopy. The primary propellants were tested alone and mixed with helium as a seed gas so that emission spectra analysis could be conducted with a helium collisional-radiative model. If the addition of helium does not have a significant effect on the plasma parameters, this diagnostic method can be used to determine performance characteristics with complex propellants.
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