2019 NASA EPSCOR RID PROJECTS
Smart Lunar Base Isolator (SLBI)
Principal Investigator: Tathagata Ray, Ph.D. and Ehsan Dehghan-Niri, Ph.D. (Co-PI)
Affiliation/Dept.: New Mexico State University, Department of Civil Engineering
NASA Collaborator: Shahid Aslam, Ph.D., NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Description: This research proposes the development of a versatile technology in terms of a Smart Lunar Base-Isolator (SLBI) that can ensure smooth functioning of the lunar experimental modules and future lunar human habitats, as well as can harvest energy during the moonquakes, which are of long duration compared to earthquakes. The seismometers installed on the lunar surface during the 1969 Apollo mission recorded about 12,500 moonquakes over a period of 8 years. The most powerful ones of those moonquakes are estimated to have magnitude around 5 in Richter scale. As earthquake of such a scale causes huge nonstructural damage, the future lunar missions that NASA is planning for must be prepared for moonquakes. Further, recorded moonquakes are found to be of long durations (up to an hour). Hence harvesting the energy of moonquakes will be practical and beneficial. The research will be performed over one year with two students ( one graduate and one undergraduate). The base-isolator design will be done analytically and will involve simulating synthetic Moonquake accelerograms, code development for analyses, and performing analyses. The research with the energy harvester will involve model development and experiments with the model. Expansion of the research for in full scale experiments and prototype development will be pursued in follow-up proposals to NASA and other federal agencies.