Exploratory review of sintered lunar soil based on the results of the thermal analysis of a lunar soil simulant

A. Bonanno, L. E. Bernold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2014 American Society of Civil Engineers. The exploration and development of space will require energy that is reliable, ubiquitous, and economical to produce. The international space station relies on photovoltaics to generate electricity stored in nickel-hydrogen batteries for powering the station during the "night". This paper investigates an alternative technology designed to take advantage of in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) available on the moon or other celestial bodies. Rather than depending on chemical batteries to store energy the envisioned method would "stock" solar thermal energy in sintered regolith, serving as a thermal battery that provides heat and power during the long night. It discusses the sintering process and the temperatures required to achieve agglomeration of the Australian Lunar Regolith Simulant-1 (ALRS-1). The main aim of the presented work was to determine the specific heat capacity of a sintered simulant, across a temperature range of 25°C to 700°C. Discussed are the concept of a closed cycle power storage system as well as methods and equipment employed for the experimental work. While the conducted tests are exploratory in nature, the first results encourage further work.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Aerospace Engineering
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

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