Design and Preliminary Testing of Low-Energy Planetary Excavator
Development of a permanent human base on the Moon for exploration requires a self sustaining system. This entails production and processing of limited amounts of raw material on the Moon. Any mining and construction activities on the Moon can only be performed by a robust excavation machine that can excavate a variety of material from loose surface regolith to consolidated (frozen) regolith with embedded rocks in the mixture. Meanwhile, limited amount of information on lunar regolith is available to develop and optimize a machine for given lunar ground conditions. Therefore, any excavator designed for use on the lunar surface should have the ability to adapt to a wide range of operating conditions. A prototype cutterhead for the lunar excavator was built and tested at the Kennametal facility in Latrobe PA A. This paper discusses the results of initial material characterization as well as full scale tests of a prototype cutterhead inrelevent material. A brief review of anticipated production rates under various assumed ground conditions will also be presented.
J. Rostami et al., "Design and Preliminary Testing of Low-Energy Planetary Excavator," 2009 SME Annual Meeting & Exhibit and Colorado Mining Association's 111th National Western Mining Conference, Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME), Feb 2009.
Mining and Nuclear Engineering
Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering
Keywords and Phrases
Lunar Surface Analysis
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Article - Conference proceedings
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