The electrostatic dust accelerator at CCLDAS supports investigation into to the physics of micrometeorid impacts, high-speed dust in the lunar environment, and instrument calibration and testing.
How it works:
Dust particles are accelerated electrostatically: A Pelletron generates a 3 MV potential inside a housing filled with protective SF6 atmosphere, which is separated from the vacuum. A dust source mounted inside injects highly charged dust particles for acceleration. After exiting the Pelletron, the particles transit a set of pick-up detectors for initial determination of the charge, mass, and velocity. The particle selection unit (PSU) uses a set of HV deflection plates to stop particles outside the desired mass and velocity range from entering the experimental chamber, and the third pick-up detector confirms the particles’ arrival.
- Energies up to 3 MV
- Particle sizes: 0.2—2.5 µ
- Particle velocities: 1—100 km/s
The CCLDAS accelerator is available for use by the larger CU-Boulder research community. For more information, please contact us.
The following video documents the assembly of the dust accelerator when it arrived at CCLDAS.