MPRL Operational Modes

Mode 0: Complementary studies using previous MPRL data – theoretical, computational, or analytical projects

  • A proposed experiment would use previous data obtained in experimental runs and no new experiments are requested.
  • Data will be provided to a user – including calibration information. Data must be outside of the 1 year “embargo” period established by the MPRL data management plan.
  • Example: A collaborator wishes to use previous measurements of particle transport in the MDPX device to perform a complementary study of diffusive processes in dusty plasmas.

Mode 1: Measurements on MDPX using existing capabilities

  • A proposed experiment would use the existing hardware and diagnostics of the facility to perform an experiment. This could be to investigate a particular phenomenon or characterize a type of particle or plasma behavior at high magnetic field.
  • A typical visit of this type could be between 7 to 14 days – with a half-day for setup and a half-day for shut down.
  • Example: A collaborator wishes to operate the device in a low pressure regime to see how particle transport is affected by laser manipulation at high magnetic field.

Mode 2: Measurements on MDPX using non-invasive tools

  • A proposed experiment would use the plasma and dusty plasma generation systems of the MDPX device, but a collaborator would provide an additional diagnostic system.                                     
  • A visit of this type could be as little as 7 days, but more likely to extend to 14 days depending upon complexity of the diagnostic system. 
  • A day or two would be dedicated to instaling and testing the diagnostic system, followed by research operations over the remaining time.  
  • Example: A collaborator wishes to add a high frame rate microscope system to perform high resolution studies of particle motion in the magnetic field.

Mode 3: Measurements on MDPX requiring configuration changes of the primary vacuum chamber

  • A proposed experiment would require changing something on the interior of the primary octagonal MDPX vacuum chamber – e.g., adding electrodes for particle manipulation, changing particle sizes, adding a in-situ diagnostics, etc.
  • The minimum recommended duration of this type of experiment would be 14 days – depending upon complexity of the modifications and time required to establish a good vacuum. 
  • The additional time is needed to ensure the compatibility and safe operation of the external hardware with the magnetic field.
  • Example: A collaborator wishes to change particles and add additional confinement rings to the MDPX electrode to create multiple trapping regions for dust particles.

Mode 4: Measurements using the MDPX magnet system, but using a different vacuum chamber

  • The primary MDPX vacuum chamber would be exchanged for a User-provided system.
  • This type of experiment would likely require an extended stay of at least 14 days and significant planning beforehand.
  • Within the MPRL, we have currently have three chambers that have bee used within the MDPX magnet system.  These are described in the MPRL Technical Manual.
    • Primary MDPX octagonal chamber
    • Particle growth chamber – 6 inch (150 mm), 6-way cross
    • A 10 inch diameter (25 cm) cylindrical chamber
  • Example 1 (B = 0 vs. B ≠ 0 studies):  Often, collaborators have performed extensive studies in their systems without a magnetic field and are seeking to perform complementary studies in the presence of a magnetic field.
  • Example 2 (Calibration of fusion diagnostics):  We have also supported studies where a collaborator seeks to calibrate an instrument / diagnostic for use in a high magnetic field environment (e.g., fusion experiments), where the magnetic field is pulsed.  The MDPX facility provides a steady-state, uniform, high magnetic field environment for detailed testing of diagnostic performance.