Abstract by Tabitha Caldwell
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Separation and Implementation of Mars Dust
The atmosphere of Mars is densely populated with charged dust particles (1-5 micrometers in diameter) whose characteristics are unknown. Measurements of the size and charge of the particles are needed to better understand the atmosphere of Mars. We are developing a charge detection mass spectrometer (CDMS) that can be used to measure these properties. With no real Mars dust available on earth, other minerals/simulants with similar composition can be used during testing of the instrument. However, it must be separated by size to match the micron-size range of Martian dust. This presentation will discuss the various techniques we have implemented in separation of these particles, including sedimentation and centrifugation.