Electrostatic transport and manipulation of lunar soil and dust

Hiroyuki Kawamoto*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Transport and manipulation technologies of lunar soil and dust are under development utilizing the electrostatic force. Transport of particles is realized by an electrostatic conveyer consisting of parallel electrodes. Four-phase traveling electrostatic wave was applied to the electrodes to transport particles upon the conveyer and it was demonstrated that particles were efficiently transported under conditions of low frequency, high voltage, and the application of rectangular wave. Not only linear but also curved and closed transport was demonstrated. Numerical investigation was carried out with a three-dimensional hard-sphere model of the Distinct Element Method to clarify the mechanism of the transport and to predict performances in the lunar environment. This technology is expected to be utilized not only for the transport of bulk soil but also for the cleaning of a solar panel and an optical lens. Another technology is an electrostatic manipulation system to manipulate single particle. A manipulator consisted of two parallel pin electrodes. When voltage was applied between the electrodes, electrophoresis force generated in non-uniform electrostatic field was applied to the particle near the tip of the electrode. The particle was captured by the application of the voltage and released from the manipulator by turning off the voltage. It was possible to manipulate not only insulative but also conductive particles. Three-dimensional electrostatic field calculation was conducted to calculate the electrophoresis force and the Coulomb force.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAIP Conference Proceedings
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    EventSpace Technology and Applications International Forum: Enabling Space Exploration, STAIF 2008 - Albuquerque, NM
    Duration: 2008 Feb 102008 Feb 14


    OtherSpace Technology and Applications International Forum: Enabling Space Exploration, STAIF 2008
    CityAlbuquerque, NM


    • Distinct element method
    • Dust
    • Electrostatic traveling wave
    • Lunar soil
    • Manipulation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physics and Astronomy(all)


    Dive into the research topics of 'Electrostatic transport and manipulation of lunar soil and dust'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this