Dust Knowledge on Mars and Dust Properties Available for Landing and Landed Vehicles and Assets



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47th International Conference on Environmental Systems


Knowledge of Martian dust and determination of its properties is a main point to be taken into account for landing vehicles and also landers and landed assets aiming to survive and work on Mars ground. The proposed paper will first, deal with history of knowledge of Martian dust, progresses year by year and mission after mission on the definition of Martian dust and knowledge of its behavior (dust rising with wind and ground level atmosphere transformations, dust devils, dust storms). A point will be made on actual knowledge and consequences for vehicles design. The knowledge at science and scientists level will be compared with what the engineers take into account for the time being in the design of the vehicles. The difficulty of transferring scientific knowledge will be pointed out as well as post flight exploitation and transmission of the found results to the next missions. A point will be made on dust interaction during entry descent and landing, on the front and back shells of a thermal protection system, and also on the thrusters and mechanisms required for landing safely. The problem of launching back from Mars will be pointed and solutions for dust removal will be investigated. At last the problem of dust for manned flight will be investigated and the consequences on the design and mass budgets will be pointed out. Interaction with Planetary Protection will be also investigated. We expect to set a warning to scientists as well as engineers on the differences of perception they may have concerning dust question on Mars and to show the discrepancies between pre-flight, engineering results, scientific results, and post flight exploitation for the next missions, and hope to initiate the discussion between the different parties involved.


Marie-Christine Desjean, Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), France
ICES510: Planetary and Spacecraft Dust Properties and Mitigation Technologies
The 47th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in South Carolina, USA on 16 July 2017 through 20 July 2017.


Mars, Dust, landers