Nanotube Electrodes for Dust Mitigation
Dust mitigation is critical to the survivability of vehicle and infrastructure components and systems and to the safety of astronauts during EVAs and planetary surface operations. By coupling Eikos Invisicon<SUP>REG</SUP> nanocomposite conductors with existing dust mitigation Dust Shield technology developed at NASA-KSC, the Phase I program demonstrated an enabling approach to producing electrodynamic dust mitigation devices on a wide variety of surfaces not possible with traditional metal based electrode materials. Eikos reproduced proven NASA spiral electrodes using Invisicon<SUP>REG</SUP> patterned onto transparent plastics, Tyvek<SUP>REG</SUP> fabric, and silicone rubber sheets; employing inkjet and spray deposition methods, two CNT ink formulations, and four dielectric binders to create working devices. These Invisicon<SUP>REG</SUP>-based devices are far more flexible then traditional devices and exhibit superior durability to abrasion, elongation, and thermal cycling. A dust mitigation system utilizing this technology has broad value to many NASA mission directorates and terrestrial commercial applications. The Phase II project will build on these successes and integrate the electrode into larger surfaces, and more complex components. Further, extensive dust mitigation, and both environmental and mechanical testing, will be conducted to position this electrode technology for insertion into windows, fabrics, and elastomeric components in space and terrestrial applications.
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