Overview:

NASA is seeking novel dust mitigation technologies that could be used for lunar applications. They are interested in a wide range of industry solutions for issues including but not limited to:

  • Reducing dust clouds upon landing
  • Difficult dust removal from spacesuits and other surfaces
  • Dust obstruction of optical systems
  • In-cabin particulate levels

Background:

Lunar dust is one of the principal issues cited in returning to the moon. Lunar dust is difficult to remove or mitigate as it is extremely abrasive, highly cohesive, electrically charged, and small in size (~50 – 0.1 μm). In addition to threatening astronaut health, lunar dust issues have also resulted in wrong instrument readings, vision/optical system obscuration, performance reduction, altered thermal properties, and equipment failure, among others.

Many terrestrial industries such as mining, food, and cosmetics, have created unique dust mitigation technologies. NASA would like to explore these innovations as potential solutions to lunar dust issues, as well as better understand dust-related standards and regulations.

Constraints:

Required:

  • Able to manage and mitigate abrasive dust
  • Able to mitigate small particles (~50 – 0.1 μm)
  • Minimal barriers to NASA adoption (e.g. low mass, small size, low power, etc.)
  • Non-flammable
  • Able to work in harsh environments

Desired:

  • Suitable for space (e.g. radiation hardened)
  • Non-toxic

NASA is also interested in dust-related standards, regulations, monitoring, and characterization information/technologies.

Possible Solution Areas:

Dust mitigation technologies in other industries such as industrial plants processing cosmetics, powdered sugar, and pharmaceuticals.

NASA is also seeking dust-related standards, regulations, monitoring, and characterization information/technologies.

Desired outcome of the solution:

Seeking partners who are willing to collaborate and develop dust mitigation technologies to be used in all components of future space missions including, but not limited to: spacesuits, in-cabin living conditions, equipment, optical systems, and space vehicles.

Field of use and intended applications:

Mitigation of lunar dust for manned and unmanned space exploration efforts.

Previously attempted solutions:

  • Electrodynamic Dust Shield
  • Dust Tolerant Connectors
  • Cyclone Separators