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SPARCLE: Electrostatic Dust Control Tool Proof of ConceptSuccessful exploration of most planetary surfaces, with their impact-generated dusty regoliths, will depend on the capabilities to keep surfaces free of the performance-compromising dust. Once in contact with surfaces, whether set in motion by natural or mechanical means, regolith fines, or dust, behave like abrasive Velcro, coating surfaces, clogging mechanisms, making movement progressively more difticult, and being almost impossible to remove by mechanical mcans (brushing). The successful dust removal strategy will deal with dust dynamics resulting from interaction between Van der Waals and Coulombic forces. Here, proof of concept for an electrostatically-based concept for dust control tool is described and demonstrated. A low power focused electron beam is used in the presence of a small electrical field to increase the negative charge to mass ratio of a dusty surface until dust repulsion and attraction to a lower potential surface, acting as a dust collector, occurred. Our goal is a compact device of less than 5 kg mass and using less than 5 watts of power to be operational in less than 5 years with heritage from ionic sweepers for active spacecraft potential control (e.g ., on POLAR). Rovers could be fitted with devices that could hamess the removal of dust for sampling as part of the extended exploration process on Mercury, Mars, asteroids or outer solar system satellites, as well as the Moon.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Clark, P. E.
(Catholic Univ. of America Washington, DC, United States)
Curtis, S. A.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Minetto, F.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Marshall, J.
(Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Inst. Mountain View, CA, United States)
Nuth, J.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Calle, C.
(NASA Kennedy Space Center Cocoa Beach, FL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2010
Publication Information
ISBN: 978-0-7354
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: Space, Propulsion and Energy Sciences International Forum - SPESIF 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Country: United States
Start Date: February 23, 2010
End Date: February 26, 2010
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