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Sustainable Manufacturing on the Moon Lehigh University 4 November 2006 Factory of the Future – Prof. Feiertag By Timothy Dodge.

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Presentation on theme: "Sustainable Manufacturing on the Moon Lehigh University 4 November 2006 Factory of the Future – Prof. Feiertag By Timothy Dodge."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustainable Manufacturing on the Moon Lehigh University 4 November 2006 Factory of the Future – Prof. Feiertag By Timothy Dodge

2 Why the Moon? Energy Solar (1365 watts/meter 2 available but only 164 reach earths surface) 13,000 terrawatts available (apx 113,880,000 TwH) terrawatts avg use in USA in 2003 (3843 TwH) Fusion – Helium3 deposited by solar wind Like $7/barrel Oil by some estimates Raw Materials Higher levels of Iron & Aluminum Some things work better on the moon Telescopes – next step beyond Hubble Arthritis, Nanotechnology, some manufacturing processes Far easier to launch a satellite into near-earth orbit from the moon! BUT… No atmospheric oxygen, in fact a vacuum Temperature swings – fortnight day/night length (133C, -233C) 1/6 gravity – sometimes great, sometimes not. Finding water would be critical for Hydrogen and life – poles?

3 Available Raw Materials Other sources vary only 1-2% # of total analyzed samples.

4 Moon (surface)Earth (non-core) SiO %46.0% Al 2 O %4.2% FeO13.47%7.6% CaO11.97%3.5% S10.63% MgO9.04%36.8% Na 2 O0.43%0.39% Cr 2 O %0.44% K2OK2O0.18% MnO0.18%0.13% P2O5P2O5 0.11%0.02% TiO %0.23%

5 Earth Composition

6 Moon vs Earth Moon has comparable makeup but with higher Iron, Calcium, Magnesium.

7 Compare and Contrast Similar chemistries allow application of already understood methods of extraction and processing. 20 different ways to extract Oxygen from various lunar ores and mineral compounds Extraction of Al, Fe, Ti straighforward With energy, all things are possible

8 Local Resources are Primary Apx $25,000/# shipped from Earth Irregular shipping times and options Basically must make do w/local matls. Little oil/plastic -- all carbon is limited Supply Chains more like food chains Closed Loops Need recyclable processes Need self-replicating machinery to boot-up Cavemen to modern technology – 10 years? Start with remote controlled robots from earth (1.3sec) – utilize the Xbox generation! Newsflash – NASA posts $250,000 prize 9/21

9 Self Sustenance Mining for resources and energy Mining equipment must be largely built on moon Mining robots, loaders, haulers Mining technology similar Caveat: Inertia the problem, not weight! 1/6 the gravity on moon Same inertia! (function of mass) Vacuum has higher friction – good and bad. Smelting Aluminum, Iron, Titanium


11 Self Sustaining Economy Manufacturing Processes w/locally available materials and a minimum of capital equipment Sand/Investment Casting – Aluminum, Iron, Titanium Others? Machining – build machine tools on the moon Computer chip fabrication? Import to start. Possibly nanotechnology ANTS (Autonomous NanoTech Swarms) Tetrahedrons that roll Energy of course…

12 Sand Casting On the Moon SiO 2 and ceramic materials plentiful on the moon Aluminum, Iron, Titanium present. Vacuum very positive for aluminum and titanium work! Al & Ti -- oxide skin inhibits metal flow Inert gas required for welding Vacuum for some casting applications Efforts already underway for low-g casting studies – largely to understand physics of casting processes

13 Low-G Casting Larger casting possible in non-oxygen and vacuum environments (oxides reduce viscosity – also prevent knitting) Less gating due to elimination of oxide drosses – yield goes up. No oxides -> better castings – x-ray quality! Risers must be as large or larger however!

14 A short course in castings Earth examples Moon projections

15 Our always needed square casting

16 The gating system – slow down metal to prevent turbulence and oxide formation

17 Bernoullis Law: Only fill casting AFTER the gating is full and therefore laminar and predictable

18 Most castings have a hot spot Feed the hot spot with still liquid metal

19 For de-gating, the riser is often off the casting.

20 And sometimes multiple risers are needed

21 The moon however seems ideal for oxidizing metals like aluminum, titanium and iron. Oxidization is impossible and lower-g prevents Most turbulence. Focus on heat transfer!

22 A *complicated* moon gating system

23 Summary Moon has cheap energy Moon has advantages over earth for some processes and requirements Good jump-off point for almost anywhere, including earth! It could be fun! 1500 yard drives and slam dunks for everyone…

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