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The Need for High Fidelity Lunar Regolith SimulantsThe case is made for the need to have high fidelity lunar regolith simulants to verify the performance of structures, mechanisms, and processes to be used on the lunar surface. Minor constituents will in some cases have major consequences. Small amounts of sulfur in the regolith can poison catalysts, and metallic iron on the surface of nano-sized dust particles may cause a dramatic increase in its toxicity. So the definition of a high fidelity simulant is application-dependent. For example, in situ resource utilization will require high fidelity in chemistry, meaning careful attention to the minor components and phases; but some other applications, such as the abrasive effects on suit fabrics, might be relatively insensitive to minor component chemistry while abrasion of some metal components may be highly dependent on trace components. The lunar environment itself will change the surface chemistry of the simulant, so to have a high fidelity simulant it must be used in a high fidelity simulated environment to get an accurate simulation. Research must be conducted to determine how sensitive technologies will be to minor components and environmental factors before they can be dismissed as unimportant.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Gaier, James R.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 2008
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Space Resources Roundtable IX(Golden, CO)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 936374.03.03.03
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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