Evaluation of Lunar Dust Dispersion with Computational Fluid Dynamics Discrete Phase Modeling



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2023 International Conference on Environmental Systems


Lunar regolith dust is an unavoidable hazard that will accumulate in suits, cabins, and equipment over trips to the lunar surface. This is important in systems like Gateway, as too much lunar dust brought in from missions could pose a hazard to the crew onboard. However, we currently know very little about exactly how much dust could end up on Gateway, from where, and the properties of the dust itself. To aid in this understanding of what lunar dust could look like on Gateway, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of the Gateway HALO module was developed in ANSYS Fluent. Discrete phase modeling was used to track the movement and fates of lunar dust particles in the cabin, accounting for ventilation flow and monitoring which outlet vents and ports experienced the highest dust loads. Because there are so many unknowns related to lunar dust, this model investigated the effects of several variables, including dust drop location, particle size, particle density, and total mass injected. This analysis can be used to inform dust loading on dust-sensitive visiting vehicles and filter design.


Abigail Baukus, NASA Johnson Space Center, USA
Rachel Sturtz, NASA Johnson Space Center, USA
ICES510: Planetary and Spacecraft Dust Properties and Mitigation Technologies
The 52nd International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Calgary, Canada, on 16 July 2023 through 20 July 2023.


Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), lunar dust, particulates, contaminants