Mar 9, 1998

ESL picture gallery

Electrostatic Levitator picture gallery

March 9, 1998: The following pictures are provided for print media needing high-resolution images of the Electrostatic Levitator. Technical specifications are listed below. Please credit the illustrations as noted. For additional information, contact Dr. Jan Rogers at 205-544-1081.

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Color check icon
Check the color calibration for the scanner used on these pictures.]

Jan Rogers

ESL team
Rogers, Robinson

ESL vacuum chamber
Dr. Jan Rogers operates the ESL(NASA) Larry Savage, Dr. Jan Rogers, Dr. Michael Robinson (all NASA) and Doug Huie (Mevatec) inspect the ESL. (NASA) Dr. Jan Rogers and Dr. Michael Robinson at the ESL controls. JPG. NASA. Closeup view of ESL vacuum chamber. (NASA)

ESL at Loral

ESL layout

ESL captions

ESL interior
ESL in operation at Loral before transfer to NASA. . (Loral) ESL general layout at Loral.(Loral) ESL general layout with captions. (Loral) ESL vacuum chamber with top raised to show interior. . (Loral)

ESL electrodes

Levitated sample

Electrode schematic

Undercooling graph
Electrostatic levitation system inside ESL vacuum chamber. (Loral) Metal droplet levitated inside ESL. (Loral) Schematic of ESL electrodes and controls. Illustrator original available. (NASA) Graph depicting ESL heating and cooling cycle to achieve undercooling of liquid metals. (NASA). Illustrator original available.

ESL schematic
General layout of ESL. The heating laser is now mounted under the table, but is shown rotated 90 deg. for clarity. (NASA) Illustrator original available.

Electrostatic Levitator technical specifications


Forepump Turbomolecular
Backing pump Diaphraghm
Operating pressure 10 E-8 torr
Pumping speed 250 l/s (nitrogen)
Flange desgn Conflat
Measurement Ion guage with reader


Type Single color
Wavelength 0.656 or 1.3 µm
Detector Cooled/stabilized Si or InGaAs
Amplifier gain 10E5 to 10E9 V/A
Output Analog


Type Electrostatic w/3D digital PD feedback control
Specimen size 1-3 mm
Composition Conductor, semi-conductor, or insulator


Method Focused, steerable laser
Laser type CW: Nd:YAG at 1.064 µm
Beam power 50W max., 1-100%
Spot size 0.5-1.0 mm

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Author: Dave Dooling
Curator: Bryan Walls
NASA Official: John M. Horack