Electric Field Sensor
Mission: Characterize how wind storms or other processes can transport minerals across deserts, dry planets, or icy moons
Challenge: Measure the intensity of electric fields and their variation with time to understand their role in mineral and dust transport, especially to support microbial life forms
Solution: Compact, rugged, quadrature rotating electric field mill to measure magnitude and direction of the electric field at the sensor surface.
Value: Demonstrated measurement capability at Owens Lake, CA. Instrument development to TRL level 5 supporting a future mission to Mars or an icy moon.
Lab: SPRL, Sensors & Mapping
- Instrument Principal Investigator, Prof. Nilton Renno, CLaSP
- Design, Build, and Test of the EFS instrument to conditions on the surface of Mars
- Deployment and maintenance of EFS test units at Owens Lake, CA test site
- Calibration and analysis of instrument data into electric field strength data from DC to ~1 kHz