Durable Coating Technology for Lunar Dust Protection and Mitigation
Special coatings are being developed and tested to contend with the effects of dust on the lunar surface. These coatings will have wide applicability ranging from prevention of dust buildup on solar arrays and radiator surfaces to protection of EVA space suit fabrics and visors. They will be required to be durable and functional based on application. We have started preparing abrasion-resistant transparent conductive coatings ∼40 nm thick were formed by co-deposition of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and titanium (Ti) on room-temperature glass and polycarbonate substrates using two RF magnetron sputtering sources. By adjusting Ti content, we obtained sheet resistivities in the range 104-1010 ohms/square. We have also started conducting a series of environmental tests that simulate the exposure of coated samples to dust under relevant conditions, beginning with abrasion tests using regolith simulant materials.