Efficiency Evaluation of an Electrostatic Lunar Dust Collector


B. Damit, C.-Y. Wu, N. Afshar-Mohajer, N. Sorloaica-Hickman


American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics


41st International Conference on Environmental Systems



The accumulation of solar-based charges on lunar grains leads to levitation of the like charged particles. The lunar dust deposit on sensitive and costly surfaces of investigative equipment is a serious concern for lunar missions. Benefiting from the inherent trait of lunar particles which are naturally charged, an electrostatic lunar dust collector (ELDC) is hypothesized by this study as a highly efficient way for particle collection and equipment protection in the vacuum. The idea is a grid layer of charged conducting plates in front of the surface to be protected to provide the electrostatic field. Discrete Element Method (DEM) was applied to investigate the effect of electrical particle interactions on collection efficiency. Validation of this Lagrangian-based model was done by comparing to the analytical collection efficiency equation (Eulerian-based model) in the absence of electrical particle interactions. Then, electrostatic screening feature was turned on to address the difference in collection efficiency. The obtained results from Lagrangian-based method were close to the Eulerian-based solutions and indicated a small reduction in collection efficiency compared to the predicted analytical results. At the worst case scenario, all the 100-μm-sized particles would be collected by providing approximate electric field 6.4 kV/m. Both the Eulerian-based and Lagrangian-based methods confirm the adequacy of the proposed system for prospective applications.


collection efficiency, electrostatic, Lunar dust

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