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Magnetic Mars dust-removal technology

  • Francisco J. AriasEmail author
  • Salvador De Las Heras
Short Communication
  • 3 Downloads

Abstract

Environmental data recorded by the Mars exploration rovers show that the martian dust is magnetic containing mostly the strong magnetic mineral magnetite (\({\text {Fe}}_3{\text {O}}_4\)). On the other hand, it is known that dust settling onto the surface of solar arrays can affect the utility on solar power on any Mars mission, and particulary for long-term operation. Dust obscuration of solar arrays can be a special issue for the case of a future 6-month sample fetching rover (SFR) mission, where the current baseline architecture contemplates the use of solar array and where dust storms can jeopardize the entire mission, not only affecting the supply of energy for locomotion but for the communication with the Mars ascent vehicle (MAV). Today, available dust-removal techniques have been classified into four categories: natural, mechanical, electromechanical, and electrostatic. However, by aforementioned, an additional category may be included in this portfolio based in the magnetic properties of the martian dust. Here a first scoping study for a magnetic Mars dust technology is outlined. Finally, a specific ad hoc magnetic technology is proposed an analyzed.

Keywords

Mars dust-removal techniques Mars dust detection Sample fetching rover (MSR) Solar array 

List of symbols

A

Hamaker constant

\(c_{\text {d}}\)

Drag coefficient

D

Distance between the particle and the surface

\(D_{\text {h}}\)

Hydraulic diameter

E

Energy

f

Friction factor

F

Force

\(\mathbf{g }\)

Gravitational acceleration

H

Magnetic field

l

Length of the pipeline

L

Clearance vertical distance

M

Magnetization

n

Number of time the bubble travel the solar panel per day

R

Radius of the particle

\(t_{\text {d}}\)

Time of a Martian day

u

Velocity of the working fluid

V

Volume of the particle

Greek symbols

\(\mu _{\text {o}}\)

Permeability of free-space

\(\rho\)

Density of the dust particle

\(\rho _{\text {f}}\)

Density of the working fluid

Subscripts symbols

g

Gravitational

k

Kinetic

m

Magnetic

w

Adhesive

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness under fellowship Grant Ramon y Cajal: RYC-2013-13459.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Compliance with ethics requirements

This article does not contain any studies involving human or animals.

References

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Copyright information

© CEAS 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Fluid MechanicsUniversity of CataloniaBarcelonaSpain

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