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Extension of SPIS to simulate dust electrostatic charging, transport and contamination of lunar probes

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Poster

  • P. Sarrailh
  • S. L. G. Hess
  • J.-C. Matéo-Vélez
  • F. Cipriani
  • D. Rodgers
  • A. Hilgers
  • B. Jeanty-Ruard
  • B. Thiébault
  • J. Forest
  • F. Honary
  • S. R. Marple
Publication date06/2014
<mark>Original language</mark>English


A modification of the Spacecraft Plasma Interaction Software has been undertaken under ESA contract 4000107327/12/NL/AK (SPIS-DUST). The primary goal is to provide mission designers with an engineering tool capable of predicting charged dust behavior in a given plasma environment involving a spacecraft / exploration unit in contact with complex topological features at various locations of the Moon’s surface. The tool also aims at facilitating dust contamination diagnostics for sensitive surfaces such as sensors optics, solar panels, thermal interfaces, etc.
In this paper, the new user interface and the new numerical solvers developed in the frame of this project is presented. The pre-processing includes the building of a 3D lunar surface from a topology description (i.e. a point list), an interface to position the spacecraft and a merging interface for the spacecraft elements in contact with the lunar surface. Concerning the physical models, the new solvers have been developed in order to model the physics of the ejection of the dust from the soils, the dusts charging and transport in volume and the dust interaction and contamination of the spacecraft. The post-processing includes the standard outputs of SPIS for the electrostatic computation and the plasma plus dedicated instruments for the diagnosis of the dusts. A set of verification test cases are presented in order to demonstrate the new capabilities of this version of SPIS in realistic conditions.