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Solar Energy Systems for Lunar Oxygen GenerationAn evaluation of several solar concentrator-based systems for producing oxygen from lunar regolith was performed. The systems utilize a solar concentrator mirror to provide thermal energy for the oxygen production process. Thermal energy to power a Stirling heat engine and photovoltaics are compared for the production of electricity. The electricity produced is utilized to operate the equipment needed in the oxygen production process. The initial oxygen production method utilized in the analysis is hydrogen reduction of ilmenite. Utilizing this method of oxygen production a baseline system design was produced. This baseline system had an oxygen production rate of 0.6 kg/hr with a concentrator mirror size of 5 m. Variations were performed on the baseline design to show how changes in the system size and process (rate) affected the oxygen production rate. An evaluation of the power requirements for a carbothermal lunar regolith reduction reactor has also been conducted. The reactor had a total power requirement between 8,320 to 9,961 W when producing 1000 kg/year of oxygen. The solar concentrator used to provide the thermal power (over 82 percent of the total energy requirement) would have a diameter of less than 4 m.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Colozza, Anthony J.
(Analex Corp. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Heller, Richard S.
(Massachusetts Inst. of Tech. Cambridge, MA, United States)
Wong, Wayne A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Hepp, Aloysius F.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 2010
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
AIAA Paper 2010-1166
Meeting Information
48th Aerospace Sciences Meeting(Orlando, FL)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 387498.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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