By Topic

Electrostatic fields in dust devils: an analog to Mars

Sign In

Cookies must be enabled to login.After enabling cookies , please use refresh or reload or ctrl+f5 on the browser for the login options.

Formats Non-Member Member
$31 $13
Learn how you can qualify for the best price for this item!
Become an IEEE Member or Subscribe to
IEEE Xplore for exclusive pricing!
close button

puzzle piece

IEEE membership options for an individual and IEEE Xplore subscriptions for an organization offer the most affordable access to essential journal articles, conference papers, standards, eBooks, and eLearning courses.

Learn more about:

IEEE membership

IEEE Xplore subscriptions

2 Author(s)
Jackson, T.L. ; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD ; Farrell, W.M.

Mars has a dynamic atmosphere with dust devils and global dust storms. It is possible that dust devils on this planet may be electrical in nature. In order to understand the electrical nature of Martian dust storms, terrestrial dust devils are treated as an analog, and measurements of terrestrial dust devil electrostatic fields are obtained. Specifically, the construction of an electrometer designed to measure the anticipated large fields in the convective features is described. The large electric fields (E-fields) in dust devils have saturated previous test instruments, thus foiling previous attempts to obtain internal dust devil E-fields. Once the electrometer was built and calibrated, unique measurements of the horizontal E-field within a well-formed dust devil in the Mojave desert were obtained. It is found that peak horizontal E-field values exceeded 100 kV/m within the dust devils. Each transit through the dust devil (i.e., from outside to the dust devil center and back out) created a consistent "twin-peak" horizontal E-field signature, with E-fields having the distinct minimum in the dust devil center. Using a model, the electric dipole moment of the dust devil was characterized via a comparison of observed and modeled E-fields. The twin-peak signature is also a feature found in the model as well. The electric dipole moment was found to be -0.168 Cmiddotm, with the negative sign indicative of a downward-directed dipole moment

Published in:

Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:44 ,  Issue: 10 )