Development of an Electrodynamic Screen for Dust Particle Removal from Solar Cell Panels for Mars

Undergraduate researchers: Chris Wyatt, Jason Robinson, Jacob Bock

Professor researchers: Dr. M. K. Mazumder, Dr. J. Zhang, Dr. R. Sharma


The goal of this project is the development of transparent flexible dust shields using both single- and three-phase electrodynamic shields for possible application on Mars and Earth to minimize obscuration of solar panels from the deposition of dust. The electrodynamic screens (EDS) are made of transparent plastic sheets, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for its UV radiation resistance and a set of parallel conducting electrodes made of transparent Indium Tim Oxide (ITO) embedded under a thin transparent film.

Current Undergraduate Involvement:

The undergraduate researchers are involved in the development of various electrodynamics screens and experimental setup. They are also working on the modeling and simulation for the performance of the electrodynamics screens. In the next phase they will work on the development of an experimental system including the solar panel, electrodynamics screen, and power control module for the evaluation of the operating performance of solar panel with the electrodynamics screen and control strategies.

Grant awards: NASA JPL Grant No. 1263202, $248,000, 2004 – 2007 (extended) NASA EPSCoR P&P, $5,000, 2006 – 2007

Published articles:

1. M. K. Mazumder, M. Zahn, R. Sharma, J. Zhang, C. Calle, C. Immer, N. Mardesich, “Experimental and Theoretical Evaluation of Electrodynamic Screens for Dust Mitigation on Mars,” Proceedings of the Joint Conference of ESA/IEEE/IEJ/SFE, Berkeley, CA, 2006.
2. C. E. Johnson, P. K. Srirama, R. Sharma, K. Pruessner, J. Zhang, M. K. Mazumder, “Effect of Particle Size Distribution on the Performance of Electrodynamic Screens,” Proceedings of IEEE Industry Applications Society 40th Annual Conference (IAS 2005), Kowloon, Hong Kong. Oct. 2005.
3. R. Sharma, C. Wyatt, J. Zhang, M. K. Mazumder, and C. I. Calle, “Performance Analysis of Electrodynamic Selfcleaning Transparent Films for its Applications to Mars and Lunar Missions,” Proceedings of IEEE 42ND IAS Annual Meeting, Sept. 23- 27, 2007, New Orleans, LA, USA.