h a l f b a k e r y
Just add oughta.
add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random
news, help, about, links, report a problem
or get an account
Problem: Robots are sent to planets and moons for surface exploration. The robots are often powered by solar cells. The solar cells collect dust over time, blocking the sun and reducing or eliminating the robot's energy source.
Suggestion: Cover the solar panels with clear, climate proof "tear
off" sheets. As one sheet is covered with dust, the robot sample collector arm would reach to the tear off sheet pull tab, pull off the dusty sheet and expose a new clean tear off.
"Tear off" sheets are currently used on motorcycle racing helments and racing car windshields to allow an easy, quick way to clean the racer's viewing area.
Please log in.
If you're not logged in,
you can see what this page
looks like, but you will
not be able to add anything.
Description (displayed with the short name and URL.)
||Good thinking. Its better than waiting for a dust devil to come by.
||Excellent! What a great cross application. I hope you NASA folks are reading this.
||Theirs a limit of tear of sheets though! :-(
I think you should use a windscreen wiper to clean the solar panles! :-) Good thorght Though
||You could have a mummy robot that spits on a tissue and wipes the dirt off.
||... or uses one of its bandages.
||A while back, I came up with a similar solution to a similar problem; namely micrometeorites wearing out solar panels on orbiting craft, after realising that tear-off sheets are a limited supply.
Essentially, the cover material is a thermoplastic sheet, held between two rollers which slowly rotate to pull the sheet across.
At the collecting end, the plastic is melted, filtered, and piped back to the other end, where it is reformed and cooled back into sheet form, ready to continue on through the system.
Assuming the filtering can be done in a non-consumable way (eg. centrifuge or something, instead of a filter that needs replacing), this system would keep your spacecraft panels/windows/whatever clear for a very long time (maintenance is always an issue with any long-term mechanical system, so I'm conveniently ignoring it...)