Hollow Cathode Visualization – Penn State Behrend


Penn State Behrend


Copper Class (2021 – 2022)


Jake Smith, Computer Science
Huy Tuan Tran, Software Engineering
Sarah Lengel, Computer Science
Matthew Brazel, Computer Science
Jack Blicha, Computer Science


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


Dr. Ziyun Huang, Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Software Engineering, Penn State Behrend


The goal of this project is to develop a webapp visualization depicting how hollow cathodes work and their role in the Psyche mission. This visualization is meant to be suitable for view by a general audience and be entertaining and interactive. Our webapp has two main purposes: the first is to serve as a learning experience for people in the public, and the other is to serve as a visual aid for presentations and demonstrations by field experts. The learning experience aimed at the general public teaches the role of the hollow cathode in relation to the Hall thruster and the Psyche mission and gives users a chance to interactively learn how hollow cathodes work. The experience for field expert presentations contains the same teaching methods as the general public’s experience but leaves out textual explanations in favor of allowing professionals to do the talking. This presentation mode is meant to be used as a visual aid or a background graphic, meant to support the presenter’s information.

This work was created in partial fulfillment of Penn State Behrend Capstone Course “SWENG481/CMPSC485”. 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.