Technical Consulting

Ad Astra offers technical consulting and testing services in a wide variety of areas, including: Vacuum testing, Plasma Sources and Diagnostics, Cryogenic, Automation, Modeling and others.

Ad Astra has installed and maintains multiple significant vacuum facilities, including 150 m3 and 5 m3 chambers in Webster, TX and a 10 m3 chamber in Liberia, Costa Rica. The 150 m3 chamber offers: easy internal access with 14‘ end-cap and 3’ personnel access doors; rail tracks for easy installation and removal of large test items; PLC automated fast pump-down and venting with maximum pumping speeds over 200,000 liters/s; large 20” view ports and internal HD video cameras; 2.5 m by 5 m precision vacuum motion translation stage; and many vacuum feedthroughs, such as RF power, coaxial, HV/LV/multi-pin power/signal, optical, thermocouple and fluid. This infrastructure has been operated while testing a 200 kW plasma thruster.

Ad Astra test facilities offer significant support infrastructure with over 100 channels of signal conditioning and data acquisition (NI-PXI) and other high quality measurement instrumentation. There is 1.5 MVA 480 VAC electrical service, and both de-ionized & treated chilled water cooling with 100 kW capacity. Material handling includes 2 & 10 ton cranes and forklift.

In-house cryogenic and magnetic testing infrastructure includes: 8 high-lift cryocoolers with some capable below 5 K, 6000 gal liquid nitrogen bulk tank with a vacuum jacketed feed line, 2 tesla cryogen-free superconducting magnet with over a 30 cm open bore. These systems have been integrated and operated with Ad Astra’s vacuum facilities for thermal vacuum testing. Additionally, copper coil electromagnets are available for testing items to over 0.1 tesla.