Modelling Dust Clouds Produced from Lunar Rover Operations

Sargeant, H. M.; Dyson, J.; Otto, H.; Long-Fox, J.; Britt, D. and Sheridan, S. (2022). Modelling Dust Clouds Produced from Lunar Rover Operations. In: Space Resources Week, 3-5 May 2022, Luxemburg (Online).

Abstract

[Introduction] The dominant cause of dust transport on the Moon are human activities such as spacecraft landing and launch, and rover operations [1]. When disturbed lunar dust becomes mobilized and triboelectrically charged. The abrasive and charged dust can damage electronic and mechanical components located nearby. Here, we consider the dust transport from rover operations on the lunar surface and how the local charging environment may affect the motion of the dust clouds that are produced. We have developed a Discrete Element Method (DEM) simulation to model the mobilization of dust from wheel interactions with the surface.

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