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