This paper describes an experimental investigation of plasma jet properties of a DC torch operated at low pressure (below 10 mbar). A modified enthalpy probe system is described, which allows gas sampling from the plasma jet at pressures down to the mbar range. Measurements of the specific enthalpy, temperature and velocity throughout the jet for different pressures are presented and discussed. In the pressure range investigated, the jet flow is supersonic and compressible theory is used to infer the velocity from the dynamic pressure measured at the probe tip. In addition, optical emission spectroscopy of the plasma jet is used to evidence the differences of these low-pressure plasmas with respect to common, atmospheric pressure thermal jets. These preliminary measurements are the starting points towards a better understanding of plasma jets at low operating pressures in view of new process development and optimisation.

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