Modeling the Dust Particle Impact Rate on the MOXIE Filter



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50th International Conference on Environmental Systems


Future crewed missions to Mars are expected to use In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) to provide fuel, oxidizer, and other useful products. The Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE), a payload on the NASA Perseverance Mars rover, will electrolyze atmospheric carbon dioxide to produce oxygen and carbon monoxide. Dust in the martian atmosphere will collect on MOXIE�s High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter, increasing the pressure drop across the filter. Experimental results at the University of Aarhus Mars Simulation Laboratory wind tunnel suggested, however, that only 10-30% of the airborne dust (by mass) ends up in the filter. Since the collection efficiency of the filter is near perfect, this result implies that much of the dust is separated from the CO2 stream before reaching the filter. In this paper, Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) modeling confirms that hypothesis both qualitatively and quantitatively, showing that wind blowing across the face of the filter carries the larger particles past the filter as the CO2 flow is diverted through it. The CFD model further demonstrates a strong dependence of the fraction of particles captured on increasing wind speed. These results can inform the design of future full-scale ISRU plant filtration systems.


Gavin Kohn, University of Maryland
Michael Hecht, MIT Haystack Observatory
Jeffrey Hoffman, MIT Haystack Observatory
John McClean, MIT Haystack Observatory
ICES510: Planetary and Spacecraft Dust Properties and Mitigation Technologies
The 50th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held virtually on 12 July 2021 through 14 July 2021.


MOXIE, Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment, Mars, Martian, Dust, Wind, Perseverance, ISRU, In-Situ Resource Utilization, Oxygen, Filtration, CFD, Computational Fluid Dynamics, COMSOL, HEPA