Lunar Dust Contamination Effects on Lunar Base Thermal Control Systems
Many studies have been conducted to develop a thermal control system that can operate under the extreme thermal environments found on the lunar surface. While these proposed heat rejection systems use different methods to reject heat, each system contains a similar component, a thermal radiator system. These studies have always considered pristine thermal control system components and have overlooked the possible deleterious effects of lunar dust contamination. Since lunar dust has a high emissivity and absorptivity (greater than 0.9) and is opaque, dust accumulation on a surface should radically alter its optical properties and therefore alter its thermal response compared ideal conditions. In addition, the non-specular nature of the dust particles will may alter the performance of systems that employ specular surfaces to enhance heat rejection. To date, few studies have examined the effect of dust deposit on thermal control system components.