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Title: Mimicking Mars: A vacuum simulation chamber for testing environmental instrumentation for Mars exploration

We have built a Mars environmental simulation chamber, designed to test new electromechanical devices and instruments that could be used in space missions. We have developed this environmental system aiming at validating the meteorological station Rover Environment Monitoring Station of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission currently installed on Curiosity rover. The vacuum chamber has been built following a modular configuration and operates at pressures ranging from 1000 to 10{sup −6} mbars, and it is possible to control the gas composition (the atmosphere) within this pressure range. The device (or sample) under study can be irradiated by an ultraviolet source and its temperature can be controlled in the range from 108 to 423 K. As an important improvement with respect to other simulation chambers, the atmospheric gas into the experimental chamber is cooled at the walls by the use of liquid-nitrogen heat exchangers. This chamber incorporates a dust generation mechanism designed to study Martian-dust deposition while modifying the conditions of temperature, and UV irradiated.
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), INTA-CSIC, Torrejón de Ardoz, 28850 Madrid (Spain)
  2. (ICMM-CSIC), Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid (Spain)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22254977
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Review of Scientific Instruments; Journal Volume: 85; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; 79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ASTRONOMY; CONFIGURATION; DESIGN; DUSTS; EQUIPMENT; EXPLORATION; HEAT EXCHANGERS; IRRADIATION; MARS PLANET; METEOROLOGY; NASA; SIMULATION; ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION