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History and Flight Devleopment of the Electrodynamic Dust ShieldThe surfaces of the moon, Mars, and that of some asteroids are covered with a layer of dust that may hinder robotic and human exploration missions. During the Apollo missions, for example, lunar dust caused a number of issues including vision obscuration, false instrument readings, contamination, and elevated temperatures. In fact, some equipment neared failure after only 75 hours on the lunar surface due to effects of lunar dust. NASA's Kennedy Space Center has developed an active technology to remove dust from surfaces during exploration missions. The Electrodynamic Dust Shield (EDS), which consists of a series of embedded electrodes in a high dielectric strength substrate, uses a low power, low frequency signal that produces an electric field wave that travels across the surface. This non-uniform electric field generates dielectrophoretic and electrostatic forces capable of moving dust out of these surfaces. Implementations of the EDS have been developed for solar radiators, optical systems, camera lenses, visors, windows, thermal radiators, and fabrics The EDS implementation for transparent applications (solar panels, optical systems, windows, etc.) uses transparent indium tin oxide electrodes on glass or transparent lm. Extensive testing was performed in a roughly simulated lunar environment (one-sixth gravity at 1 mPa atmospheric pressure) with lunar simulant dust. EDS panels over solar radiators showed dust removal that restored solar panel output reaching values very close to their initial output. EDS implementations for thermal radiator protection (metallic spacecraft surfaces with white thermal paint and reflective films) were also extensively tested at similar high vacuum conditions. Reflectance spectra for these types of implementations showed dust removal efficiencies in the 96% to 99% range. These tests indicate that the EDS technology is now at a Technology Readiness Level of 4 to 5. As part of EDS development, a flight version is being prepared for several flight opportunities. The flight version of the EDS will incorporate significantly smaller electronics, with an expected mass and volume of 500 g and 350 cm(exp. 3) respectively. One of the opportunities is an International Space Station (ISS) experiment: Materials for International Space Station Experiment 10 (MISSE-10). This experiment aims to verify the EDS can withstand the harsh environment of space and will look to closely replicate the solar environment experienced on the moon. A second flight opportunity exists to provide an EDS to several companies as part of NASA's Lunar CATALYST program. The current mission concept would fly the EDS on the footpad of one of the Lunar CATALYST vehicles. Dust will likely deposit on the footpad through normal surface rover activities, but also upon landing where lunar dust is expected to be uplifted. To analyze the e effectiveness of the EDS system, photographs of the footpad with one of the spacecrafts onboard cameras are anticipated. If successful in these test flights, the EDS technology will be ready to be used in the protection of actual mission equipment for future NASA and commercial missions to the moon, asteroids, and Mars.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Kennedy Space Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Johansen, Michael R.
(NASA Kennedy Space Center Cocoa Beach, FL United States)
Mackey, Paul J.
(NASA Kennedy Space Center Cocoa Beach, FL United States)
Hogue, Michael D.
(NASA Kennedy Space Center Cocoa Beach, FL United States)
Cox, Rachel E.
(NASA Kennedy Space Center Cocoa Beach, FL United States)
Phillips, James R., III
(NASA Kennedy Space Center Cocoa Beach, FL United States)
Calle, Carlos I.
(NASA Kennedy Space Center Cocoa Beach, FL United States)
Date Acquired
August 18, 2015
Publication Date
August 31, 2015
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: AIAA Space 2015
Location: Pasadena, CA
Country: United States
Start Date: August 31, 2015
End Date: September 2, 2015
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 609524.
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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