Automated Hybrid Microwave Heating for Lunar Surface Solidification
This SBIR project addresses the need for a system that will provide automated lunar surface stabilization via hybrid microwave heating. Surface stabilization is paramount to future lunar missions due to severe complications from dust on the Apollo space missions. This project focuses on development of a microwave surface solidification device, which could be incorporated into a roving system, to provide adequate working planes for robotic and manned operations.
Phase I will demonstrate microwave system feasibility using advanced computer modeling and sophisticated laboratory experimentation with lunar simulant. Research will target surface heating of deep powder beds to best simulate in-situ use. Microwaves coupled with radiant heat sources will maximize heating efficiency. Hybrid microwave heating models will provide process optimization, direct correlations to lunar regolith heating, and a foundation for advanced automated control systems.
Ceralink has assembled a team including research partner Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and commercialization partner Gerling Applied Engineering to successful bring this technology from a TRL 2 to a TRL 4 in Phase I. The team is well positioned to achieve TRL 6 with prototype demonstrations by the completion of Phase II, and ultimately deliver a fully functioning system.
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