New Economics of the Space
Technika Molodezhi No 12/2011
Solar batteries production by using lunar soil as a raw material – regolith
1. Lunar multifunctional rover.
2. Scraper bucket
3. Soil launcher (an analogue to sand-stream apparatus). It forms a fast moving jet of ground lunar soil, it can also throw substances extracted from lunar soil and granulated: silicon, metals etc. if there is a chamber trap of gasphased type on ASD the rover can create a flow of granules of lunar ice and/or frozen oxygen, made on the Moon surface.
4. ASD with a rotative trap of the flow of the hardphase particles of the cargo, coming from the rover. ASD is equipped with a device to emit oxygen (up to 42-44% out of the mass), silicon and metals from the lunar soil. A pyrolized (thermic) method of decomposing regolith is used which demands quite high temperatures – about 2800º C. The method is effective in itself but here it is twice as effective: the needed thermic chamber is combined with EP's chamber, for instance, of an electric arc type that gives a significantly higher temperature (~20 000º C). A jet stream that compensates the braking arisen in the process of “catching” the flow of regolith from the rover is obtained by using oxygen extracted by pyrolysis from regolith as a working medium of EP. The general coefficient of efficiency of the system is thus greatly increased. Regolith decomposition can be also in place by using the known schemes of closed circles, for example, on the basis of fluorine (Y. Yeskov, “Lunmash”: Nichego nevozmoznogo net”. TM, No 1, 2002) and/or methane.
5. Regolith and products of its remaking in the form of silicon, metals and liquefied oxygen transfer onto the interorbital reusable tugboat (IRT) which is equipped with devices to extract silicon on the basis of reactions with fluorine as well as to extract metals and to make out of them (silicon, metals) film solar batteries (SB) in the form of rolls.
6. IRT moved from the geostationary orbit to the circumlunar orbit to get lunar substances from ASD. As a working medium of EP oxygen is used, oxygen which was earlier isolated from the lunar soil.
7. IRT returning to the geostationary orbit with a stock of lunar substances which are in the time of moving transformed into film solar batteries. In general solar batteries are meant to be installed on a satellite solar power station (SSPS): some part of them are used to renew and to make IRT's power plant more powerful. As a working medium of EP oxygen is in use, oxygen that is by the way isolated from the lunar soil in the process of SB production. Some part of oxygen stocks is transferred to the fuel storehouse at SSPS.
8. A gradually increased SSPS at the geostationary orbit, used also as a orbital platform for telecommunicative devices. It is also a base for circumterrestrial spacecrafts, a base that supplies their EP with a working medium on the basis of lunar oxygen.
© 2011 Alexander Mayboroda
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