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In the question How strong is the electric charge capacity of Martian dust storms? the possibility of electrically-charged dust and its inconvenience or danger to Mars explorers is described. The triboelectric effect (commonly named static electricity) is described in Wikipedia.

Thus Mars explorers, re-entering their habitat or spacecraft, could find themselves coated in dust which until now has unknown composition. The effects of a Martian dust and its possible risks to health is discussed at length in What would it feel like to be in a Martian dust storm?

Would it be feasible to design a device to remove the statically-charged dust using an electric field? (Would a handheld device be more effective than a frame that a Marstronaut could walk through?)

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Yes, it's feasible. I'm uncertain that it's important but it could be done.

If the dust is charged, and that is why it clings, it would be trivial to remove it. You'd just need to apply the same charge to the suit to repulse it. (this could be done to prevent it from clinging, as well)

Alternately, apply the opposite charge to something else and it would pull the stuff over. (within limits for range and intensity, obviously)

More likely, the issue would be simply a built-up static charge, so a discharge station would make sense. (Perhaps the difference could be harvested for a teensy power boost.) Essentially, this would be a post or panel that is touched as part of the re-entry procedure. A ground strap equivalent could be useful for this.

It bears noting that blowing or sucking the dust off after partially neutralizing the charge might be (read: probably is) more reasonable than trying to do this through pure EM force.

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Why not just shower the EVA suit in old fashioned water and simply wash the stuff off? There's plenty of water on Mars and shower technology is well-proven...

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  • $\begingroup$ Contaminating your water source then purifying potentially unknown hazards from it is probably worse. $\endgroup$ – Magic Octopus Urn Aug 12 '19 at 21:22
  • $\begingroup$ You don't have to drink the shower water. Decontamination water would be in a separate loop. $\endgroup$ – Ags1 Aug 13 '19 at 10:06
  • $\begingroup$ Forgot to add: the contaminants are almost certainly present in any water on Mars to start with. So it's not a question of contaminating a pure water source. But still, decontamination water should just be kept separate from life support water, and given the copious quantities of water on Mars, there should be enough for both systems. $\endgroup$ – Ags1 Aug 13 '19 at 10:20

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