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3 June 2022 Laser particle sizer for plume-induced ejecta clouds
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Surface dust blown by a lunar lander can spoof sensors and damage lander and other surface and orbital assets. Since many countries seek to use and leverage the Moon in the coming decades, this is potentially a defense issue. Empirical data on Plume Surface Interactions (PSI) from lander-mounted instruments are needed to determine particle size distributions. We report a feasibility study of laser light-scattering for particle sizing. Calculations suggest that distributions of particle sizes in the range 0.1 to 10 microns can be accurately determined from laser-propagation decay using 4 to 8 wavelengths between 0.4 to 2 microns. Lab standards have been created based on calibrated showers of silica spheres and known concentrations and sizes of SiC grit in resin rods. Experiments were performed using lasers from 0.4 to 10 micron wavelength. For visible wavelengths, a point Si detector or images taken with a Si CCD camera were used to record scattered intensity vs propagation distance. At long-wave infrared, a pyroelectric detector or bolometer array were used. Characteristic decay lengths were determined by an algebraic sliding aperture method suitable for rapid and automated analysis. The experiments confirm theoretical expectations for Mie scattering by simple distributions of spherical particles. These results inform future experiments for testing the inverse problem of extracting more complicated size distributions from decay lengths measured using multiple wavelengths.
Conference Presentation
© (2022) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
R. E. Peale, C. J. Fredricksen, C. L. Barrett, A. G. Otero, A. R. Jack, F. J. Gonzalez, D. Sapkota, A. R. Dove, and P. T. Metzger "Laser particle sizer for plume-induced ejecta clouds", Proc. SPIE 12110, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XXVII, 1211003 (3 June 2022);


Laser scattering

Silicon carbide




Laser beam propagation

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