Mitchell Walker II
Office: Knight 419B
- B.S.E., Aerospace Engineering, 1999, University of Michigan
- M.S., Aerospace Engineering, 2000, University of Michigan
- Ph.D., Aerospace Engineering, 2004, University of Michigan
Dr. Walker’s primary research interests lie in electric propulsion, plasma physics, and hypersonic aerodynamics/plasma interaction. He has extensive design and testing experience with Hall thrusters and ion engines. Dr. Walker performed seminal work in Hall thruster clustering and vacuum chamber facility effects. His current research activities involve both theoretical and experimental work in advanced spacecraft propulsion systems, diagnostics, plasma physics, helicon plasma sources, magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters, and pulsed inductive thrusters. He also teaches the undergraduate Jet & Rocket Propulsion course, as well as the graduate level Rocket Propulsion and Electric Propulsion courses.
Electric propulsion and plasmadynamics, with applications in the following areas:
- Development of experimental plasma diagnostics
- Physics-based modeling of high-density plasma sources
- Experimental characterization of rf plasma sources
- Characterization and improvement of high thrust-to-power electrostatic accelerators
- Electron field emission from carbon nanotubes for electric propulsion devices
- Characterization and correction techniques for vacuum chamber facility effects
Honors and Distinctions
- AFOSR Young Investigator Program Award, 2006
- NASA Faculty Fellow, 2005
- Class of 1969 Teaching Fellow, 2005
- Lawrence Sperry Award, 2010
- Kwon, K., Walker, M. L. R., Mavris, D. N., “Self-Consistent, One-dimensional Analysis of the Hall Effect Thruster” Plasma Sources Sci. Technol. 20 (2011) 045021.
- Xu, K., Walker, M. L. R., “Technique to Collimate Ions in a Hall Effect Thruster Discharge Chamber,” Journal of Propulsion and Power, Volume 27, Number 3, May-June 2011, pp. 564-572.
- Williams, L. T., Walker, M. L. R., Kumsomboone, V. S., Ready, W. J., “Lifetime and Failure Mechanisms of an Arrayed Carbon Nanotube Field Emission Cathode,” IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, Volume 57, No. 11, August 2010, pp. 3163-3168.
- Book, C., Walker, M. L. R., “Effect of Anode Temperature on Hall Effect Thruster Performance,” Journal of Propulsion and Power, Volume 26, Number 5, September-October 2010, pp. 1036-1044.
- Kieckhafer, A. W., Walker, M. L. R., “RF Power System for Thrust Measurements of a Helicon Plasma Source,” Review of Scientific Instruments, Volume 81, Issue 7, July 2010, pp. 075106 1-8.
- Palmer, D. D., Walker, M. L. R., "Operation of an Annular Helicon Plasma Source," Journal of Propulsion and Power, Volume 25, Number 5, September-October 2009, pp. 1013-1019.
- Xu, K., Walker, M. L. R., “High-Power, Null-Type, Inverted Pendulum Thrust Stand,” Review of Scientific Instruments, Volume 80, Number 5, May 2009, pp. 055103 1-6.
- Walker, M. L. R., Gallimore, A. D., "Hall Thruster Cluster Operation with a Shared Cathode," Journal of Propulsion and Power, Volume 23, Number 3, May 2007, pp. 528-536.
- Yano, M., Walker, M. L. R., "Generalized Theory of Annularly-Bounded Helicon Waves," Physics of Plasmas, Volume 14, Number 3, March 2007, pp. 033510 1-7.
- Walker, M. L. R., Gallimore, A. D., "Performance Characteristics of a Cluster of 5-kW Laboratory Hall Thrusters," Journal of Propulsion and Power, Volume 23, Number 1, January 2007, pp. 35-43.
- Yano, M., Walker, M. L. R., "Plasma Ionization by Annularly-Bounded Helicon Waves," Physics of Plasmas, Volume 13, Number 6, June 2006, pp. 063501 1-5.