The High-Vacuum Plume Test Facility for Chemical Thrusters (STG-CT) at the DLR Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology in Göttingen is a unique cryogenic vacuum facility with a 10-cubic-metre test chamber where spacecraft thrusters can be operated and investigated under space-like vacuum conditions (< 10-5 mbar).
Space-like vacuum conditions for thrusters
This German Aerospace Center (DLR) large-scale facility enables experiments on chemical thrusters under space-like vacuum conditions. The aim of the experiments is to characterise the propagation of exhaust plumes and the way in which they interact with spacecraft components. The results of these tests are used to establish requirements for the planning of attitude and orbit control systems and manoeuvres, or to develop measures to prevent contamination or excessive heating.