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Designing an Effective system for lunar robots

  1. Jan 31, 2012 #1
    I am interested in knowing a little bit more on what would be the wisest way to create a lunar robot with the proper shielding for lunar conditions to do things like mining and lunar exploration. Also what kind of batteries would be best for these conditions?

    Also, say that there are robots specifically used for mining and other for exploration, what would be the recommended for robots of each specification?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 18, 2012 #2
    Some key (but not exhaustive) issues:

    * Radiation - the radiation levels are akin to deep space (very high) because there is no lunar magnetic field and the moon is beyond the Earth's magnetic field. This means all electronics must be radiation hardened. That's an entire subject unto itself

    * Thermal - deep space temperatures are 3K while anything is in direct Sun light is 400K-600K. Not unlike Crematoria from Chronicles of Riddick but without the lava. So what ever you make must be able to both handle surface temperatures over this range (most electronics will not work below 100K or above 400K) and you have to deal with the heat transfer flux rates of such extremes as wells the temperature differential mechanical stresses.

    * Dust - because there are no geological processes on the moon to recycle surface material, every meteor strike over the last 3-4 x 10^9 years has ground up the surface rock to a fine dust which only accumulates and never disappears. This dust is micron-sized particles which can foul most mechanical designs The Apollo rovers required a number of simplifying mechanical designs to deal with this.
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