Environmental Testing for the Reliability Effects of Lunar Dust
Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC) utilizes a variety of in-house testing capabilities (vibration, shock, acoustic loads, space vacuum, temperature cycling, humidity, burn-in, etc.) for qualification and screening of flight components. A lunar dust chamber was designed and constructed to include exposure to lunar regolith and dust simulants. A full factorial design of experiment (DOE) was used to investigate the failure modes of electric fans when exposed to airborne JSC-1AF lunar regolith simulant. This type of testing provides valuable insight into reliability predictions, planned maintenance of a system, and component design improvements to mitigate the effects of lunar dust. Incorporating lunar dust exposure testing at an early stage in the design process will help ensure proper system performance and reliability.