After construction of the first low pressure wine tunnel, for sand transport experiments, the saltation simulator was the next instrument developed by the Mars Simulation Laboratory. It is constructed to simulate saltation of sand with an estimated wind speed of 5 m/s. The instrument presented here is a second generation.
The speed of the rotating drum wheel is fixed 30 rpm, which gives the sand in 20 cm long glass flasks, an average speed of 5 m/s, when it falls during rotation. This is a realistic speed in sand drift on Earth. The instrument was used in a row of surface process simulations on solid geological materials and gasses of various pressures. The temperature can be controlled and determined under experiments, and gas pressure can be monitored during experiments. For long-term experiments, several samples can be mounted in the simulator, at the same time, and exchanged after a time plan.