Passive Air Flow Engineering for Sand Accumulation Minimization on Surfaces: A Proof of Concept

  • Jason Bassett

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Aeolian processes are the main contributors of sand and dust deposition on surfaces. Such a problem is encountered on safety cameras spread around the streets of Abu Dhabi. Layers of particle deposition adherent to the cameras’ protective glass surfaces obscure visibility and lead to a costly and inefficient maintenance cycle. A way to address this problem is through altering local geometrical features (passive elements) of the setup so as to generate localized air flow effects that would delay the particle deposition on the surfaces of interest, namely localized vortices or localized flow acceleration. To that end, a study of a simplified geometry of the physical setup was realized via computational fluid dynamics simulations. The air flow results indicated a number of candidate geometrical alterations suitable for the delayed deposition purpose. The findings (velocity fields and pressure contours) of the simulations with the different geometries are presented and their potential implementation to the purpose of delayed particle deposition is commented and discussed. Finally, a straightforward result on the question of whether the generated air flow results can serve to remove particles already adhered to the surfaces of interest is calculated by a shear velocity formulation.
Date of AwardMay 2015
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorAhmed Aljaberi (Supervisor)


  • Sand and Dust Deposition on Surfaces
  • Geometrical Features
  • Particle Deposition
  • Localized Vortices
  • Localized Flow Acceleration
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulations.

Cite this