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The Effect of Martian Dust on Radiator Performance

[+] Author Affiliations
D. Keith Hollingsworth, Larry C. Witte, Jaime Hinke

University of Houston, Houston, TX

Kathryn Hurlbert

NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX

Paper No. HT-FED2004-56577, pp. 221-227; 7 pages
  • ASME 2004 Heat Transfer/Fluids Engineering Summer Conference
  • Volume 3
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, July 11–15, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division and Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4692-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3740-8
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


Experiments were performed in which the effective emittance of three types of radiator coatings was measured as Martian dust simulant was added to the radiator surface. The apparatus consisted of multiple radiator coupons on which Carbondale Red Clay dust was deposited. The coupons were powered by electric heaters, using a guard-heating configuration to achieve the accuracy required for acceptable emittance calculations. The apparatus was contained in a vacuum chamber that featured a liquid-nitrogen cooled shroud that simulated the Martian sky temperature. Radiator temperatures ranged from 250 to 350 K with sky temperatures from 185 to 248 K. Results show that as dust was added to the radiator surfaces, the effective emittance of the high-emittance coatings decreased from near 0.9 to a value of about 0.5. A low-emittance control surface, polished aluminum, demonstrated a rise in effective emittance for thin dust layers, and then a decline as the dust layer thickened. This behavior is attributed to the conductive resistance caused by the dust layer.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME
Topics: Dust



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