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Numerical Model of the Mars Electrostatic Precipitator

By Joel D. Malissa, Jerry J. Wang, Charles R. Buhler, III James R. Phillips, Michael R. Johansen and Carlos I. Calle


NASA's future human exploration missions will require chemical processing plants to convert local resources into consumables to support astronaut activities. The thin and mostly carbon dioxide atmosphere of Mars is estimated to have 1 - 10 particles/ with diameters of 1 - 10 m and up to 1000 particles/ during storms. The dust in the Martian atmosphere can foul chemical reactors and pose a risk to life support systems. Electrostatic precipitation (ESP) removes dust particles from the Martian atmosphere. The Electrostatics and Surface Physics Laboratory at NASA's Kennedy Space Center has developed a COMSOL Multiphysics(Registered Trademark) model of an ESP for dust filtration on Mars. The fundamental principles of an ESP can be simulated by four physics modules: plasma, AC/DC electromagnetics, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and particle tracing. In the ESP model presented here, the plasma module was solved to estimate particle charge. The AC/DC and CFD module were solved for the electrostatic force and fluid force. The particle-tracing module was solved for particle collection efficiency

Topics: Numerical Analysis, Geosciences (General)
Year: 2019
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