Planetary Simulant Database: DUST-Y

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Component Wt.%
Anorthosite Varies
Bronzitite Varies
Basaltic Cinder Varies

Bulk Chemistry

Bulk chemistry is not fixed and is subject to change. The table below gives the chemistry of the latest production version.

Oxide Wt.%
SiO2 48.05
TiO2 0.53
Al2O3 16.92
Cr2O3 0.12
FeOT 7.47
MnO 0.09
MgO 17.02
CaO 7.45
Na2O 1.51
K2O 0.73
SO3 0.10
Total 100.00

Physical Properties

Mean particle size: 7.9 μm

Particle size distribution:

Simulant Name: DUST-Y
Current Status: Available
Developed By: University of Central Florida
Available From: CLASS Exolith Lab
Spec Sheet: DUST-Y Spec Sheet (PDF)
Publications: N/A

DUST-Y is a physical simulant meant to represent silicate dust. It does not have a fixed mineralogical or chemical composition, and is made from material in the dust collection trap attached to a rock crusher at the Exolith Lab. Because the dust is formed by violent crushing and not gentle ball milling, particles are angular instead of rounded.

The particle size distribution is dominated by particles between 1-20 μm in diameter, with a mean diameter of ~8 μm. Because it is not a compositional simulant, it can be used for dust on any rocky planetary body including Mars and the Moon. However, users should not expect the dust will replicate all the features of martian and lunar dust, including nanophase iron and agglutinates (Moon), or ferric oxides (Mars).


Photograph of DUST-Y:

SEM micrograph of DUST-Y (courtesy of NASA JSC):

Zoomed SEM micrograph of DUST-Y (courtesy of NASA JSC):