Plasma Sources and Charge Control Systems for Ground-based and Space-based Applications

Ground-based Plasma Sources

Ion energy: 10-20 eV
Electron energy: <1eV
Gas flow rate: Minimum of 0.1 sccm (Xe)
Ion flux: Up to 25mA (Ar)
Up to 12mA (Xe)
Electron flux: Approximately 100 times ion flux
Plume divergence: Wide angle by design
Length:  4.2 inches

Low Energy Plasma Source (LEPS)

The LEPS 250 system produces very low energy ions (<20eV) and very low energy electrons in a diffuse plasma plume. Plasma ion flux levels are variable from zero to tens of milliamperes. Producing negligible contaminants, the LEPS 250 system is ideally suited for ultra-clean vacuum processing and may be used with confidence to sastify the most stringent substrate cleanliness requirements.

Applications include substrate component surface cleaning, energy addition during coating and deposition processes, precise substrate charge control, and volume plasma generation for diagnostic functions and space plasma environment simulation.

Systems are delivered as ready-to-operate packages.  Mounting and interconnects are simple.  Flexible orientation and small size permit installation in space-confined vacuum facilities.  The LEPS 250 system is a complete package which includes operating power systems, vacuum feed-throughs and all in-vacuum and out-of-vacuum wiring and mounting connections for immediate customer use.

The LEPS 250 system requires a clean gas feed system and 90-250 VAC at 50/60 Hz for operation.  EPL recommends use of its gas flow set point system (GFSP) to take advantage of the extremely low flow rates that may be used with the LEPS 250 plasma source.


Multiple LEPS 250 systems may be used to provide uniform space simulation plasmas in even the largest of vacuum test facilities


LEPS-250 Power Controller

Space-based Charge Control and Plasma Contactor Systems
Ion emission current:  Up to 10mA
Electron current: Up to 1000mA
Average ion energy: 10 to 20 eV
Electron temperature: <1 eV
Bus voltage: 28 VDC ± 6 VDC
(other bus voltage options available)


On-Orbit Spacecraft Charge Control and Plasma Contactor Systems

The SHIELD® system (Stop High Intensity Electric Discharges) is the last line of defense for spacecraft experiencing hazardous surface charging. The SHIELD® system uses miniaturized, highly integrated gas storage,  power conditioning, plasma source, command and control, in a small, robust, enclosure.  An optional, integral charge-state sensor continuously  monitors spacecraft surface charging and triggers the SHIELD® system when hazardous charging environments are detected.

EPL’S Hollow Cathode Plasma Contactor (
HCPC™) system supports electrodynamic tether applications and other space plasma contacting functions. The system is qualified to over 10,000 plasma electron emission contacting operations. The highly integrated HCPC™ system includes all gas storage and power conditioning in a small, robust, enclosure. 

Electron emission current:  10A (SFHC 250)
3A  (SFHC 175)
Bus voltage: 28 VDC ± 6 VDC
(other bus voltage options available)
Status: flight qualified
If you would like more information, please contact us.  EPL treats all contact information as strictly confidential.