J. Neumann
M. Ernst
P. Taschner
J. Perwas
R. Kalms
T. Griemsmann
T. Eismann
R. Bernhard
P. Dyroey
P. Wessels
B. Grefen
J. Baasch
S. Stapperfend
S. Linke
E. Stoll
L. Overmeyer
D. Kracht
S. Kaierle

The MOONRISE-payload as proof of principle for mobile selective laser melting of lunar regolith

SPIE Proceedings Vol. 12777, International Conference on Space Optics
Type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz (non-reviewed)
When setting up a lunar station, technologies for the use of locally available materials are crucial. Such technologies drastically reduce the need for transportation from Earth. We aim to provide proof of a key technology, namely Mobile Selective Laser Melting (M-SLM) for terrain modelling i.e. for building large structures such as launch/landing pads, but also building infrastructures like shelters protecting astronauts or equipment against radiation and micrometeorites on the Moon. The M-SLM technology has the advantage that only electrical energy and a moving system are required. For M-SLM, a mobile high power laser beam is directed on lunar regolith leading to its melting. Subsequently, the melt cools down and solid structures are generated. The MOONRISE instrument should serve in a short-term mission as a proof-of-principle experiment for the M-SLM technology on the lunar surface. In a first step, an Engineering Model (EM) of our MOONRISE instrument with a volume of 10 cm x 10 cm x 15 cm and a mass of about 2.7 kg has been built and thoroughly tested on ground. It could be accommodated on a rover or a robotic arm to move the laser spot in order to create 1D, 2D and even 3D regolith structures on the Moon. Recently, three new projects have been initiated in order to (1) develop the MOONRISE payload towards a Flight Model (FM) with accommodation on a commercial lunar lander, in order to (2) apply 2D laser beam deflection techniques for process scaling on a potential follow-on payload and in order to (3) investigate the detailed process of regolith laser melting under lunar gravity conditions in the Einstein-Elevator.