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Laser melting manufacturing of large elements of lunar regolith simulant for paving on the Moon

  • The next steps for the expansion of the human presence in the solar system will be taken on the Moon. However, due to the low lunar gravity, the suspended dust generated when lunar rovers move across the lunar soil is a significant risk for lunar missions as it can affect the systems of the exploration vehicles. One solution to mitigate this problem is the construction of roads and landing pads on the Moon. In addition, to increase the sustainability of future lunar missions, in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) techniques must be developed. In this paper, the use of concentrated light for paving on the Moon by melting the lunar regolith is investigated. As a substitute of the concentrated sunlight, a high-power CO2 laser is used in the experiments. With this set-up, a maximum laser spot diameter of 100 mm can be achieved, which translates in high thicknesses of the consolidated layers. Furthermore, the lunar regolith simulant EAC-1A is used as a substitute of the actual lunar soil. At the end of the study, large samples (approximately 250 × 250 mm) with interlocking capabilities were fabricated by melting the lunar simulant with the laser directly on the powder bed. Large areas of lunar soil can be covered with these samples and serve as roads and landing pads, decreasing the propagation of lunar dust. These manufactured samples were analysed regarding their mineralogical composition, internal structure and mechanical properties.

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Author:Juan-Carlos Ginés-Palomares, Miranda Fateri, Eckehard Kalhöfer, Tim Schubert, Lena Meyer, Nico Kolsch, Monika Brandić Lipińska, Robert Davenport, Barbara Imhof, René Waclavicek, Matthias Sperl, Advenit Makaya, Jens Günster
Source Title (English):Scientific Reports
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2023
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Aalen
Granting Institution:Hochschule Aalen, Maschinenbau und Werkstofftechnik
Release Date:2024/02/27
Article Number:15593
Number of Pages:11
Faculty:Maschinenbau und Werkstofftechnik
Open Access:Open Access
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International