22 Mar 2018





​LEEP3 has been developed specifically for long-duration EP testing, in particular for the BepiColumbo SEPS system testing. It has a water-cooled chevron-style graphite target to minimise back sputter, helping to reduce the beam out rate due to facility effects. Measurements with a Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) have shown that the back sputter rate seen in LEEP3 is lower than that measured in LEEP2, verifying the improved performance of the target design. LEEP3 characteristics:

  • Dimensions: 3.3m diam x 7.2m long
  • Pumping capacity equivalent to 200,000 l/s Xenon
  • Base vacuum level 5.0x10mbar, giving 9.0x106mbar with Xenon flow rate ~3.5mg/s (equivalent to a single T6 thruster running at 145mN)
  • ​Water cooled chevron style graphite target to minimises back sputter​​​