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Lunar roads

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:07 pm
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Lunar roads 
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Post Lunar roads   Posted on: Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:07 pm
An article under www.wissenschaft.de is reporting today that the scientists Larry Taylor has found out that rovers equipped by microwave-emitters could turn lunar regolith into firm road-like paths and places.

This could be used to create firm places with significantly reduced amounts of electrostaticly charged dust for landings of vehicle and rockets or for lunar habitats.

The method could be used to cerate the material needed to build the habitats - so there would be another kind of ISRU.

Still it has to be found out if the microwaves will have the same result in the vacuum on the moon like here on Earth where Taylor has done an experiment.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)

EDIT: www.wissenschaft.de refers to Science@NASA ( science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2005/09nov_lawnmower.htm )


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Post    Posted on: Mon Nov 14, 2005 2:31 pm
Yeah, I think we've had a similar post about this before. It might have been about available building materials, and someone linked to the guy doing his microwave experiments with his samples of manufactured moon dust. I like the idea of a solar powered crawler, gently munching away through the moons surface, laying out a road behind. It'd be cool if it made cobbles or bricks that were arranged into a road. That would make for easy repair. Though now that I type that, it's obvious that kicking dust over a crack and microwaving it may just be the simplest form of road repair ever.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:15 pm
<scrape> <scrape> <stomp> <stomp> <stomp> <BZZZZZZZZT> <scrape> ......

Why haven't we used this on Earth?

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Post    Posted on: Mon Nov 14, 2005 7:21 pm
spacecowboy wrote:
Why haven't we used this on Earth?


The reason it works is due to there being very small particles of pure iron distributed through the top layer of lunar soil. The microwave energy heats these particles and the heat fuses (or sinters depending on energy levels) the silica in the soil.

I suspect that the process will only work in certain areas. The pure iron is supposed to be only in certain minerals. (ileminite)


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Post    Posted on: Mon Nov 14, 2005 10:34 pm
Of course, on thinking about it a bit more, we do use this -- except the medium is the rubber in asphalt instead of the iron in regolith.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Sep 20, 2008 4:34 pm
There was an article in the edition of Wirtschafts woch of August the27th this year reporting about powering electro-cars by long induction-circuits. This way not only the motor would be powered but the accumulators recharged also. On earthian roads the efficiency wouk´ld be 10% to 20%.

R&D is done by Intertronic, Würzburg (Germany)

My thought is to apply this on the Moon in shadows and on the night side.

Of course this fits into at least one other thread also - but it reminds me to roads rather than something else at present.

What about it?



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


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Post    Posted on: Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:43 pm
Using the sintering process to create road (or apron areas near bases) is IMHO a big leap forward if they can get it to work.

Dust control may be a major issue on the moon since lunar dust is very abrasive. Having hard-floor apron areas will go a long way towards keeping suits, lock areas and vehicles clean. Not having to dust off or rebuild vehicle drivetrains as often should also be a major plus. Being able to quickly create the required area without an industrial infrastructure will probably literally be a lifesaver.

Powering vehicles by induction loops could also be interesting and it would certainly boost their range. Whether the benefits outweigh the cost (in time, effort and materials) remains to be seen. Remember, you've got to lay down and insulate those loops and the environment will be rough to say the least. Charging stations at regular intervals are probably easier to do and might offer room for emergency facilities.

Cheers,
ErikM :evil:


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