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Design of a lunar transportation systemThe development of a good transportation infrastructure is a major requirement for the establishment of a permanent lunar base. Transportation is characterized by the technology available in a specific time frame and the need to transport personnel and cargo between Earth and Moon, and between lunar bases. In our study, attention was first focused on developing a transportation system for the first generation lunar base. As a first step, a tracked-type multipurpose lunar transportation vehicle was considered as a possible mode of transportation and a detailed study was conducted on the various aspects of the vehicle. Since the vehicle is composed of many moving parts, exposing it to the environment of the Moon, where fine dust particles are prevalent, can cause problems associated with lubrication and friction. The vehicle also posed problems concerning weight and power. Hence, several modifications were made to the above design ideas conceptually, and a Lunar Articulated Remote Transportation System (Lunar ARTS) is proposed as a more effective alternative with the following objectives: (1) minimizing the transportation of construction material and fuel from Earth or maximizing the use of the lunar material; (2) use of novel materials and light-weight structures; (3) use of new manufacturing methods and technology such as magnetic levitation using superconducting materials; and (4) innovative concepts of effectively utilizing the exotic lunar conditions, i.e., high thermal gradients, lack of atmosphere, lower gravity, etc. To achieve the above objectives of designing transportation systems from concept to operation, the project was planned in three phases: (1) conceptual design; (2) detailed analysis and synthesis; and (3) construction, testing, evaluation, and operation. In this project, both phases 1 and 2 have been carried out and work on phase 3 is in progress. In this paper, the details of the Lunar ARTS are discussed and the future work on the vehicle are also outlined.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Sankaravelu, A.
(Florida Univ. Gainesville, FL, United States)
Goddard, H.
(Florida Univ. Gainesville, FL, United States)
Gold, R.
(Florida Univ. Gainesville, FL, United States)
Greenwell, S.
(Florida Univ. Gainesville, FL, United States)
Lander, J.
(Florida Univ. Gainesville, FL, United States)
Nordell, B.
(Florida Univ. Gainesville, FL, United States)
Stepp, K.
(Florida Univ. Gainesville, FL, United States)
Styer, M.
(Florida Univ. Gainesville, FL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1989
Publication Information
Publication: USRA, NASA(USRA University Advanced Design Program Fifth Annual Summer Conference
Subject Category
Mechanical Engineering
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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