By Aleksy Dojnow
By Aleksy Dojnow
As we expand our presence on the Moon we will similarly need to increase the frequency at which resupply mission fly there. With this comes a greater risk of damages due to blast ejecta from landing rockets. A long-term solution is to build blast walls around landing pads, but this is also costly and time-consuming. If we want to secure an early foothold on the Moon, we should consider short-term solutions that would facilitate our initial return, experimentation and expansion.
The project proposes a synergetic solution of rapid pressurization of flexible actuators positioned at the bottom of lunar habitats that would allow the structure to hop over the shallow cone of incoming ejecta. With the Moon’s low gravity and non-existent atmosphere this task should be much easier than on Earth.
For a successful deployment of the experiment a 1:100 scale lunar habitat would have to reach a height of 85mm at an initial pressurization of 38PSI. This height is based on assumptions that the full-scale habitat would be positioned at the edge of a 27m radius landing pad.
Expected results are that the scale habitat will clear this boundary condition height and, asyou increase the initial pressure, it will be able to achieve ever-higher H-Maxes.
To test the rapid pressurization a box will be constructed to house the electrical and pneumatic components and the scale model. The box will be 38”x18”x18” with two “ground” levels – one for the scale model and the other for the electronics and pneumatics. The box’s height of 38” is only due to one elongated 8020 profile that has to house the solenoid and provide support for silicone tubing that will deliver the pressurized air into the scale model. The box will be bolted via a 24”x24” baseplate to the plane.
The scale model will be made of ASA 3D printed plastic and have a silicone actuator embedded into its underside. The silicone tube will run through the scale model and into the actuator becoming at the same time a tether for the scale model.
The system will be pressurized by a 12V car tire compressor controlled manually or via a control panel by the operator. A laptop will be connected to the box but be positioned off to the side and secured with industrial strength Velcro. From there data will be recorded.