Experimental, Physical and Numerical Modeling of Lunar Regolith and Lunar Regolith Structures

by Steven W. Perkins, Montana State Univ, Bozeman, United States,
Stein Sture, Montana State Univ, Bozeman, United States,
Hon Yim Ko, Montana State Univ, Bozeman, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III


An extensive series of laboratory strength and deformation experiments have been performed on a lunar regloith simulant. Results of these experiments are compared to results from experiments on real lunar regolith from the Apollo and Luna missions to illustrate the suitability of this material in capturing the engineering properties lunar regolith. In addition, those results are used to calibrate a constitutive model used to describe its stress-strain behavior. This model, in conjunction with numerical analysis techniques, is used to predict the response (i.e. material parameters) of lunar simulant under 1/6-g and low confining stress conditions. These tools are also used to predict the displacement response of a lunar soil embankment structure used to cover a first generation human habitat module, which might be used to accommodate the first astronauts revisting the Moon. These predictions are compared to physical models of this structure, which are tested in a geotechnical centrifuge in order to satisfy scaling relationships between prototype and model.

Subject Headings: Numerical models | Lunar materials | Material properties | Geotechnical models | Physical models | Structural models | Stress strain relations | Stress analysis

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