Martian dust likely preventing Chinese rover from waking up

Apr 28, 2023
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A quick question for those engineers and scientists involved with Martian Rovers: why can't some system be placed on the Rovers to periodically remove the dust that accumulates? I know that weight is a huge consideration, but I am guessing that a decent system could be built for less than 3-5 kilograms. If it added years to the operating life of a Rover, I think that it would be worth the extra weight.

One simple example might be a system that would contain a bottle to store compressed Martian air, an intake mechanism and a few fixed nozzles pointing over the surfaces of the solar cells through which compressed air would be periodically blown to remove the dust. The intake function could be run periodically when there was spare battery power from the Rover batteries and would be short duration so as not to be too much of a drain on the batteries. The dusting off function would be explosive releases of some of the stored air to blast the dust off and would require very little power. The storage bottle would obviously have to be pretty strong so as to have zero chance of exploding from the compressed air, and the various values would have to be of extremely high quality so as not to freeze up or be chocked by dust. The system would have to be designed to store a full charge of compressed air over the winter if the Rover hibernated and to automatically do a dust blow-off when spring was far enough advanced. Why couldn't this system work? Many variations could be thought up by interested people.

Thanks to all who respond, I am looking forward to learning a lot.
 

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