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Adhesion Between Volcanic Glass and Spacecraft Materials in an Airless Body EnvironmentThe successful exploration of airless bodies, such as the Earth s moon, many smaller moons of the outer planets (including those of Mars) and asteroids, will depend on the development and implementation of effective dust mitigation strategies. The ultrahigh vacuum environment (UHV) on the surfaces of these bodies, coupled with constant ion and photon bombardment from the Sun and micrometeorite impacts (space weathering), makes dust adhesion to critical spacecraft systems a severe problem. As a result, the performance of thermal control surfaces, photovoltaics and mechanical systems can be seriously degraded even to the point of failure. The severe dust adhesion experienced in these environments is thought to be primarily due to two physical mechanisms, electrostatic attraction and high surface energies, but the dominant of these has yet to be determined. The experiments presented here aim to address which of these two mechanisms is dominant by quantifying the adhesion between common spacecraft materials (polycarbonate, FEP and PTFE Teflon, (DuPont) Ti-6-4) and a synthetic noritic volcanic glass, as a function of surface cleanliness and triboelectric charge transfer in a UHV environment. Adhesion force has been measured between pins of spacecraft materials and a plate of synthetic volcanic glass by determining the pull-off force with a torsion balance. Although no significant adhesion is observed directly as a result of high surface energies, the adhesion due to induced electrostatic charge is observed to increase with spacecraft material cleanliness, in some cases by over a factor of 10, although the increase is dependent on the particular material pair. The knowledge gained by these studies is envisioned to aid the development of new dust mitigation strategies and improve existing strategies by helping to identify and characterize mechanisms of glass to spacecraft adhesion for norite volcanic glass particles. Furthermore, the experience of the Apollo missions revealed that dust mitigation strategies must be subjected to high fidelity tests. To facilitate the effectiveness of ground-based testing of mitigation strategies, the issue of a pressure limit for high fidelity tests will be addressed.
Document ID
20120002628
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Authors
Berkebile, Stephen (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Street, Kenneth W., Jr. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Gaier, James R. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2012
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Report/Patent Number
NASA/TM-2012-217221
AIAA Paper 2011-3675
E-17904
Meeting Information
3rd Atmospheric and Space Environments Conference(Honolulu, HI)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 780896.04.06.02.03
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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