In preperation for the big second fueling and ignition test of the AIS-ILIS1 ionic liquid electrospray thruster, I spent the past couple of days working on a new chamber upgrade for TVAC thermal vacuum baking capabilities. Added a 10′, 500W, 1400C output rated ceramic braided heat tape with heavy insulation. Several thermocouples were also installed for surface reading and control. The main chamber is wrapped up like a woolly mammoth with layers of foil and insulation!
As part of the upgrade, I also installed this chamber section I bought from another vacuum hacker in the community over a year ago at the other end of the system. This will allow me to install a thermocouple feedthrough so I can monitor the temperature inside the chamber.
A high temperature ceramic insulated thermocouple was also installed in the chamber and connected to the feedthrough. This will be run down through the chamber to the viewport area where testing and baking will occur.
Unfortunately one TC channel on the feedthrough is not use-able (pin fatigued and broke on the atmosphere side), so I will need to get another multichannel feedthrough at some point if I have enough spare funds down the road, preferably at least 4 channels with better connections on both sides. This TC also ended up being much thicker than I was expecting, so I’ll have to change to thinner ones as well to make setup easier. This will work well for now though!