Hall Thruster Visualization & Animation – Penn State (Behrend)


Penn State Behrend


Cobalt Class (2019 – 2020)


Shrey Kumar Arora, Software Engineering
Morgan Atterholt, Software Engineering
Donald Birx, Computer Science


Dr. Jason Frieman, NASA Glenn Research Center
Carol Tolbert, NASA Glenn Research Center


Dr. Dean Lewis, Assistant Teaching Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Penn State Behrend


The Psyche mission will rely on Hall thrusters (a form of electric propulsion) in order to propel the spacecraft on its journey to (16) Psyche. Despite their extensive use on-board a variety of spacecraft, these thrusters are largely unfamiliar to the general public. In this project, the team is creating an entertaining interactive visualization depicting how these thrusters work and the benefits of using them for a general audience.

Demo Videos

This work was created in partial fulfillment of Penn State University Capstone Course “CMPSC 484”. The work is a result of the Psyche Student Collaborations component of NASA’s Psyche Mission (https://psyche.asu.edu). “Psyche: A Journey to a Metal World” [Contract number NNM16AA09C] is part of the NASA Discovery Program mission to solar system targets. Trade names and trademarks of ASU and NASA are used in this work for identification only. Their usage does not constitute an official endorsement, either expressed or implied, by Arizona State University or National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of ASU or NASA.