Title

Design and Preliminary Testing of Low-Energy Planetary Excavator

Abstract

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.

Department(s)

Mining and Nuclear Engineering

Second Department

Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Lunar Surface Analysis

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Construction equipment
Construction industry
Excavation
Mining machinery
Raw materials

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Citation

File Type

text

Language(s)

English

Rights

© 2009 Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME), All rights reserved.


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