Sven G. Bilén
Dr. Sven G. Bilén received the B.S. degree (honors) from The Pennsylvania State University in 1991 and the M.S.E. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan in 1993 and 1998, respectively. Prof. Bilén joined the Penn State faculty as an assistant professor in January 2000. He holds a joint appointment with Electrical Engineering and Engineering Design. In EE he is a member of the Communications and Space Sciences Laboratory; he is also a member of the Propulsion Engineering Research Center and the College of Engineering’s Environmental Institute. In ED he is a member of the Engineering Design Program and has taught courses in Engineering Design as well as the Engineering Entrepreneurship minor.
Dr. Bilén’s research interests are in the areas of electrodynamic-tether science, technology, and applications; in situ measurements of space plasmas and environments; circuit modeling of plasmas and spacecraft–plasma interactions; high-voltage applications and issues; space systems design; plasma diagnostics for space plasmas, plasma electric thrusters, and semiconductor plasma processing; software-defined radio; and innovation techniques in design. He is a member of IEEE, AIAA, AGU, ASEE, and Sigma Xi.
Bilén has performed research on and with electrodynamic tethers for over a decade. During his graduate program at Michigan, Bilén worked on the first Tethered Satellite System (TSS–1) mission in 1992 and its reflight (TSS–1R) in 1996. He was a console operator for the Shuttle Electrodynamic Tether System (SETS) cadre in the Science Operations Centers at Mission Control, Johnson Space Center during TSS–1 and the Huntsville Operations Support Center, Marshall Space Flight Center during TSS–1R. He was awarded a NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program Fellowship for research involving pulse propagation along insulated tethers in ionospheric plasma. Dr. Bilén contributed to NASA’s Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer System (ProSEDS), an electrodynamic-tether mission that was to fly in 2004 that has three Langmuir probes and spacecraft potential probes, among other plasma diagnostics.
Prof. Sven G. Bilén views faculty involvement with students outside the classroom and with student projects as extremely important and integral to the mission of the university. Dr. Bilén has been supervisor for several honors theses, independent studies, and international internships. He is the PI for a student nanosatellite project called LionSat sponsored by AFOSR, NASA, and AIAA, on which there will be a plasma diagnostic package and a pair of miniature RF ion thrusters. Dr. Bilén is a faculty co-advisor for the Flyin’ Lions, a team of undergraduate students who design, build, and fly experiments aboard NASA’s KC–135a microgravity simulation aircraft through the Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program (RGSFOP). Dr. Bilén was also faculty co-advisor for the MAGIC get-away-special (GAS) payload, which flew in the payload bay of Shuttle STS–108 in December 2001. He has begun and acts as advisor for a student GAS project called Field Emission GAS Investigation (FEGI), which is a collaboration of Penn State, Univ. of Michigan, AF Academy, SRI International, and NASA.