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experimental determination of in situ utilization of lunar regolith for thermal energy storageA Lunar Thermal Energy from Regolith (LUTHER) experiment has been designed and fabricated at the NASA Lewis Research Center to determine the feasibility of using lunar soil as thermal energy storage media. The experimental apparatus includes an alumina ceramic canister (25.4 cm diameter by 45.7 cm length) which contains simulated lunar regolith, a heater (either radiative or conductive), 9 heat shields, a heat transfer cold jacket, and 19 type B platinum rhodium thermocouples. The simulated lunar regolith is a basalt, mined and processed by the University of Minnesota, that closely resembles the lunar basalt returned to earth by the Apollo missions. The experiment will test the effects of vacuum, particle size, and density on the thermophysical properties of the regolith. The properties include melt temperature (range), specific heat, thermal conductivity, and latent heat of storage. Two separate tests, using two different heaters, will be performed to study the effect of heating the system using radiative and conductive heat transfer. The physical characteristics of the melt pattern, material compatibility of the molten regolith, and the volatile gas emission will be investigated by heating a portion of the lunar regolith to its melting temperature (1435 K) in a 10(exp -4) pascal vacuum chamber, equipped with a gas spectrum analyzer. A finite differencing SINDA model was developed at NASA Lewis Research Center to predict the performance of the LUTHER experiment. The analytical results of the code will be compared with the experimental data generated by the LUTHER experiment. The code will predict the effects of vacuum, particle size, and density has on the heat transfer to the simulated regolith.
Document ID
19930007428
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Authors
Richter, Scott W.
(Sverdrup Technology, Inc. Brook Park, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Subject Category
ENERGY PRODUCTION AND CONVERSION
Report/Patent Number
NASA-CR-191050
E-7516
NAS 1.26:191050
E-7515
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 506-41-31
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAS3-25266
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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