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Proceedings Paper

Self-cleaning and anti-contamination coatings for space exploration: an overview
Author(s): Ronald Pirich; John Weir; Dennis Leyble
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Paper Abstract

Dust contamination is a serious problem for equipment and vehicles for space mission applications. Lunar "weathering" has left the lunar soil with a relatively fine texture, a small count median diameter and an unusually large geometrical standard deviation compared to terrestrial dust particle size distributions. Accumulated lunar dust regolith is estimated to reduce solar power system efficiencies by as much as 50 percent. Lunar dust is electrostatically charged, difficult to remove, and appears to get everywhere. Astronaut exposure to lunar dust and its risks to health and operations are also an important design consideration for long-duration lunar missions. We are attempting to design an integrated approach to solving the dust problems associated with its many elements (life support systems, EVA, docking and berthing, surface mobility, in situ resource utilization, and power system components), as opposed to leaving it to each individual element developer. Other potential applications include mitigation of unintentional capture of extraterrestrial bacteria or spores on the surfaces of the equipment. This presentation will present an overview of the lunar regolith particle size and shape distribution properties, hydrophilic and hydrophobic coating self-cleaning approaches and a new approach which incorporates various catalytic mechanisms (stoichiometric, photocatalytic and electrocatalytic) for decontamination.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 September 2008
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7069, Optical System Contamination: Effects, Measurements, and Control 2008, 70690B (2 September 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.793794
Show Author Affiliations
Ronald Pirich, Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems (United States)
John Weir, Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems (United States)
Dennis Leyble, Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7069:
Optical System Contamination: Effects, Measurements, and Control 2008
Sharon A. Straka, Editor(s)

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