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Experimental Study of the Angle of Repose of Surrogate Martian DustAccumulation of wind-blown dust particles on solar cells and instruments will be a great challenge in the exploration of Mars, significantly reducing their lifetime, durability, and power output. For future Mars Lander missions it is crucial to gain information about the ideal angle at which solar panels can be positioned to minimize dust deposition and thus, maximize the power output and lifetime of the solar cells. The major determinant for the optimal panel angle is the angle of repose of the dust particles that is dependent on a variety of physical and chemical properties of the particles, the panel surface, and the environmental conditions on the Mars surface. To gain a basic understanding of the physical and chemical processes that govern dust deposition and to get feedback for the design of an experiment suitable for one of the future Mars Lander missions we simulate atmospheric conditions expected on the Mars surface in a controlled chamber, and observe the angle of repose of Mars dust surrogates. Dust deposition and angle of repose were observed on different sized spheres. To cover a range of potential materials we will use spheres made of 7075 aluminum (10 mm, and 15 mm), alumina oxide ceramic (10 mm), and Teflon(trademark) (10 mm) and wafers of gallium arsenide, silicon.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Conference Paper
Moeller, L. E.
(Moscow Junior High School Moscow, ID, United States)
Tuller, M.
(Idaho Univ. Moscow, ID, United States)
Baker, L.
(Idaho Univ. Moscow, ID, United States)
Marshall, J.
(Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Inst. Mountain View, CA, United States)
Castiglione, P.
(Idaho Univ. Moscow, ID, United States)
Kuhlman, K.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Science XXXIV
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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