Electrostatic particle collection in vacuum
Abbreviated Journal Title
Adv. Space Res.
Lunar dust; Electrostatic collection; Vacuum; Collection efficiency; Dimensionless ratio; SOLAR-SYSTEM; LUNAR DUST; Astronomy & Astrophysics; Geosciences, Multidisciplinary; Meteorology &; Atmospheric Sciences
Lunar grains accumulate charges due to solar-based ionizing radiations, and the repelling action of like-charged particles causes the levitation of lunar dust. The lunar dust deposit on sensitive and costly surfaces of investigative equipment is a serious concern in lunar explorations. Inspired by electrostatic precipitators (ESPs), the Electrostatic Lunar Dust Collector (ELDC) was proposed for collecting already charged lunar dust particles to prevent the lunar dust threat. As the conditions for terrestrial counterparts are not valid in the lunar environment, equations developed for terrestrial devices yield incorrect predictions in lunar application. Hence, a mathematical model was developed for the ELDC operating in vacuum to determine its collection efficiency. The ratios of electrical energy over potential energy, kinetic energy over potential energy and the ratio of ELDC dimensions were identified to be the key dimensionless parameters. Sensitivity analyses of the relevant parameters showed that depending on ELDC orientation, smaller particles would be collected more easily at vertical orientation, whereas larger particles were easier to collect in a horizontal ELDC configuration. In the worst case scenario, the electrostatic field needed to be 10 times stronger in the vertical mode in order to adequately collect larger particles. The collection efficiency was very sensitive to surface potential of lunar dust and it reached the maximum when surface potential was between 30 and 120 V. Except for regions of the lunar day side with surface potential close to zero, providing 1 kV (E = 20 kV m(-1)) with the ELDC was more than enough for collecting all the particles in the most critical orientation. The needed field strength was about 4000 times less than that for repelling 1-mu m size particles already settled on the surfaces. The analysis shows that the ELDC offers a viable solution for lunar dust control due to its effectiveness, ease of cleaning and low voltage requirements. (C) 2011 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Advances in Space Research
"Electrostatic particle collection in vacuum" (2011). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 1035.