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Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

Annual Reports

Completed in 2010, the Electrostatic Lunar Dust Analyzer (ELDA) detects the trajectories of dust grains. (Courtesy CCLDAS)

CCLDAS activities, publications, and research are compiled every year for the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI).

Y1-3 Summary: 2009-2012

Highlights:
  • Research goals remain focused on the processes involved with the atmosphere and┬ádust environment of the Moon accessible for scientific study while the environment remains in a┬ápristine state
  • Theoretic and modeling studies: Addressing the properties of the UV-generated plasma sheath and its interaction with the solar wind plasma flow, and the role of 3D topography in the possible formation of dust ponds
  • Education: Training the next generation of multidisciplinary lunar scientists by involving graduate, undergraduate, and high school students in space and engineering projects

Highlights:
  • The Lunar Environment and Impact Laboratory (LEIL) is now available for the testing and calibration of plasma and dust instruments, including LDEX for the LADEE mission
  • Studies on the properties of of the UV-generated plasma sheath and its interaction with the solar wind plasma flow, and the role of 3-dimensional topography in the possible formation of dust ponds
  • New instrumentation concepts: the Electrostatic Lunar Dust Experiment (ELDA), a Dust Telescope (DT), and a chemical composition analyzer
  • Two new University of Colorado Boulder faculty hires: Drs. Dave Brain and Sascha Kempf

Highlights:

  • Theory: Successful modeling of the formation of photoelectron plasma sheaths, including the effects of realistic photoelectron energy distributions and the emergence of electrostatic double layers
  • Laboratory experiments: Demonstrated the role of differential charging due to exposure to UV photons and/or energetic electron beams leading to charging, mobilization, and transport of dust
  • Space hardware: Completed demonstration units to measure the charge, mass, and velocity vector of slow-moving dust on the lunar surface. Completed testing of the EM version of LADEE/LDEX