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ID No : 956   Edit
Title: Simulated Lunar Operations Facility Designed and Built for Lunar Vehicle Research
Summary / Review : "In fiscal year 2007, the Surface Mobility Team designed and built the Simulated Lunar Operations (SLOPE) facility at the NASA Glenn Research Center. With NASA s goal to return to the Moon by 2020 and to occupy a Moon base continuously, lunar rovers of all sizes and capabilities will be required for transporting people, equipment, and regolith. These rovers must be able to traverse the widely varied lunar terrain, ranging from hard-packed to powdery surfaces and from level areas to the steep-sloped walls of huge craters. Therefore, the science of terramechanics (the interactions of machines and soils) as applied to the Moon is being explored at Glenn. Our plans include (1) helping determine whether future lunar vehicles will utilize wheels or tracks or something else altogether, (2) developing the sciences that will determine the geometry of the wheels, tracks, and tread patterns, (3) developing instrumentation and experimental methods to characterize the lunar terrain, and (4) developing vehicle traction test methodologies. A new facility and specialized test equipment were required for these efforts. The SLOPE facility is a unique indoor, climate-controlled, confined terrain of lunar simulant for conducting traction and other terrain-characterizing testing that relate to future lunar vehicles. SLOPE has a large level area measuring 11.9 m (39 ft) long and 6.0 m (19 ft 8 in.) wide. This area is currently filled to a depth of 0.3 m (12 in.) with a commercially available grade of sand that has shear characteristics similar to lunar regolith. The level area has boxed-in platforms that form a 1.2-m- (4-ft-) wide border along both long lengths, and these double as ventilation ducts. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter blowers at the end of each platform draw air from the over-terrain vents to help control the airborne silica dust that is raised when the sand is disturbed." (Author's abstract)
Author(s) : Bauman, Steven W., [Glenn Research Center]
Publication Date: 2008
Category(s) : Transportation / Lunar surface
Progress Type: DT ( A=Analysis only, D=Design, T=Testing, C=Completed or Commercial product )
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NTRS : 20090022041
Submitted by : MEP
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