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ISBN 9783843904339

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978-3-8439-0433-9, Reihe Raumfahrt

Jürgen Schlutz
Conceptual Design of Lunar Exploration Architectures

174 Seiten, Dissertation Universität Stuttgart (2012), Softcover, A5

Zusammenfassung / Abstract

The Moon remains one of the primary targets for human space exploration in the foreseeable future due to its immense science value together with the proximity to Earth, the potential in-situ resources and the utilization value for the preparation of future exploration beyond the Earth-Moon system.

Embedded into an overarching vision, the exploration architecture typically addresses a large set of objectives, targets multiple destinations, combines a large number of capabilities and elements, and encompasses a long time frame. This results in the need for coordinated developments that maximize synergies between elements and destinations, that bundle resources, and that provide opportunities for new partnerships.

This thesis discusses the specific characteristics of exploration architectures in comparison to individual missions, describes the process and means of architecture development and highlights recent exploration architectures, campaigns and roadmaps. A Function Approach is introduced that drives the design of architecture elements from the assessment of required capabilities and their performances. While this ensures flexibility and sustainability of the exploration endeavor, it calls for a strong standardization and common interfaces for the interoperability and complementarity of the individual elements.

A comprehensive set of tools that has been developed at the University of Stuttgart in the frame of the Space Station Design Workshop. Entitled MOONBASE, these modeling and simulation capabilities incorporate the assessment of the lunar topography and surface accessibility, the solar illumination cycles, the thermal conditions, the visibility of Earth and other planets, the radiation environment on the lunar surface as well as the potential in-situ resources. All these aspects inform advanced site selection and drive system performance requirements, particular in the polar areas where topographic influences are largest due to the low elevation of the Sun.

An approach to lunar base design is highlighted that emphasizes the importance of the above mentioned environmental conditions on the design of energy management systems, communications, in-situ resource utilization, advanced mobility and radiation protection. The relevant engineering principles and meaningful examples show how system performance requirements can be relaxed by orders of magnitude at selected polar surface locations.