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Accession Number N20130009566
Title Preparation of a Frozen Regolith Simulant Bed for ISRU Component Testing in a Vacuum Chamber.
Publication Date Jan 2013
Media Count 20p
Personal Author D. Linne J. Klenhenz
Abstract In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) systems and components have undergone extensive laboratory and field tests to expose hardware to relevant soil environments. The next step is to combine these soil environments with relevant pressure and temperature conditions. Previous testing has demonstrated how to incorporate large bins of unconsolidated lunar regolith into sufficiently sized vacuum chambers. In order to create appropriate depth dependent soil characteristics that are needed to test drilling operations for the lunar surface, the regolith simulant bed must by properly compacted and frozen. While small cryogenic simulant beds have been created for laboratory tests, this scale effort will allow testing of a full 1m drill which has been developed for a potential lunar prospector mission. Compacted bulk densities were measured at various moisture contents for GRC-3 and Chenobi regolith simulants. Vibrational compaction methods were compared with the previously used hammer compaction, or "Proctor", method. All testing was done per ASTM standard methods. A full 6.13 m3 simulant bed with 6 percent moisture by weight was prepared, compacted in layers, and frozen in a commercial freezer. Temperature and desiccation data was collected to determine logistics for preparation and transport of the simulant bed for thermal vacuum testing. Once in the vacuum facility, the simulant bed will be cryogenically frozen with liquid nitrogen. These cryogenic vacuum tests are underway, but results will not be included in this manuscript.
Keywords Cryogenics
Field tests
In situ resource utilization
Lunar rocks
Lunar surface
Moisture content
Vacuum tests

Source Agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NTIS Subject Category 54 - Astronomy & Astrophysics
84B - Extraterrestial Exploration
Corporate Author National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Cleveland, OH. NASA John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1319
Contract Number N/A

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