Fully-Functional Space And Terrestrial Photovoltaic/Electrodynamic Shield (PV/ES) Hybrid System For Dust Mitigation

The dust deposit on sensitive and costly surfaces of investigative

equipment is a serious concern for future lunar and Martian missions.

Several methods have been surveyed to protect optical or photovoltaic

surfaces from the dust deposition threat but limiting condition of

lunar and Martian environment makes them either inefficient or

infeasible. Since there is no drag force on particles, and the magnetic

field is negligible, applying electrostatic field could be the best

approach for dust control.

 

The unique properties of ITO, Graphene and Carbon Nanotube (CNT)

combined with recent scientific advancements that make these materials

readily available allow development of smart surfaces on a small and

large scale that will benefit the power generation devices. Our

research groups from UCF and UF in collaboration with KSC have been

working on high and low voltage technologies like Electrodynamic Dust

Shield (EDS) and Electrostatic Lunar Dust Collector (ELDC) for future

lunar and Mars Missions.

 

The research team developed active and very efficient cleaning methods

based on ITO, Graphene and CNT materials requiring minimal cost,

weight, and power that repel and remove particulate buildup of surface

contaminants, e.g., dust and dirt, from solar panels used for the space

mission. The cleaning methods ensure that solar panels are operational

for longer periods of time and with lower power loss due to dust

obscuration.