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Experimental Evaluation and Analysis of Electrodynamic Screen as Dust Mitigation Technology for Future Mars Missions

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6 Author(s)
Sharma, R. ; Dept. of Appl. Sci., Univ. of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR ; Wyatt, C.A. ; Jing Zhang ; Calle, C.I.
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The electrodynamic screen (EDS) is considered to be one of the feasible dust mitigation technologies for future Mars missions. In this paper, the performance of EDS for surface cleaning was characterized with respect to the following operational parameters: 1) the efficiency of screens under both continuous and intermittent operations with different rates of dust deposition; 2) electrical power requirements for the screen operation with respect to dust removal efficiency (DRE), frequency, and excitation frequency; and 3) the optical transmission efficiency of the transparent EDSs and the corresponding power loss, when these screens were placed on solar panels. The average DRE of EDS during continuous dust loading was over 95%, whereas it was 90% when the screen was activated intermittently. Power consumption by EDS, as well as the size and weight of the power supply, is one of the critical factors for its applicability for dust removal from solar panels during future Mars mission. The power consumption by EDS was measured under several dust loadings and using different frequencies and electrical field intensities for the safe operation of power supplies without Paschen breakdown. Experiments were conducted under simulated Martian atmosphere (5.0 mb CO2 atmosphere) using a screen with an active surface area of 59 cm2. The average power consumption of screen varied between 1.02 and 2.87 mW. The optical transmission efficiency for a transparent EDS (PET substrate with indium tin oxide electrodes) was measured for a PET screen with ITO electrodes. It was found that placing the transparent EDS on a typical space-type solar panel resulted in a significant obscuration. The power output of the solar panel decreased by 15%.

Published in:

Industry Applications, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:45 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

March-april 2009

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