Living on the moon
The development of a colony on the lunar surface requires the design of habitats capable of withstanding the environment. The aim of this project is to investigate structural forms and design a lunar habitable building which is suitable for the lunar environment and structural conditions through structural analysis techniques for sustainable long-term occupation. The structural shape was determined via analysis such as ‘thrust line analysis’ where the lunar forces along the arch of the structure are plotted to form the ‘thrust curve’ within the dimensions of the building. In determining the form of the building, the loading is considered and the live loads from meteorites that impact the structure variably on the lunar surface. Given the live loading, the self-weight of the structure, was subsequently calculated given the structures dimensions. Therefore, a lunar habitat can be designed and tested using stress analysis to identify the optimal lunar habitat design.
- Georgia Smith
- Julie Brennan
- Bohao Sun
One Small Step for Lunar Structures
On the lunar surface, there exists severe environmental conditions including micrometeoroids, extreme temperatures, ionising radiation, and a vacuum environment, all of which pose considerable threat to the safe housing of human life and equipment. Hence, this project addresses the requirement to develop a load resisting panel system for the protection of first-generation lunar structures against these harsh environmental conditions. Through literature-based research, a conceptual panel system design was developed and then numerically modelled under simulated lunar loading conditions to assess and improve its performance. These included high velocity micrometeoroid impact loads, as well as applied temperature and radiation loads. The simulation outcomes and a subsequent parametric analysis advanced the panel system from a conceptual design to a final design that is successful at mitigating against said lunar loading conditions. This paves the way for future lunar structure development and human settlement.
- Jack Evangelista
Stargazing with Event-Based Cameras
As we continue to utilize the earth’s orbit for our growing technology requirements, the need to accurately localize objects in orbit is of vital importance. Star-trackers equipped with conventional cameras are commonly used in space missions to determine the precise orientation of satellites and spacecraft. The goal of this project is to explore the potential applications of event cameras in a star tracker system. Event cameras are the enabling technology that is rapidly pushing the frontier of computer vision research. These devices have a higher data acquisition rate and superior dynamic range. This makes them more robust to the operating environments than traditional frame-based cameras. There are two concrete deliverables for this project. Firstly, we developed a star-events data processing pipeline that allows the application of conventional-camera star-tracking algorithms. Next, we construct an event-based dataset to facilitate future research on event-camera-based star-tracking algorithms.
- Russell Stanley
Advanced Satellite Power Management
Small satellites form a growing market in the modern space industry. Advancements in small satellites offer growing benefits to satellite communications, signal processing and data analysis capabilities with improvements to service scalability and affordability. However, a major concern to quality of service is power management, as satellites that rely on photovoltaic (PV) power experience deficiencies due to limited power supply and unwanted electrical transients during low earth orbit (LEO). A large fraction of power loss happens through electrical mismatch, which could reduce efficiency by 40%. Hence, this project aims to investigate a novel means of smart power management at the load to minimise deficiencies in small satellite electrical power systems.
- Chia-Han Wang
Small Satellite Reaction Wheel
Small satellites are highly sensitive to variations in their orientation while in orbit, due to their low inertia. Reaction wheels are the preferred solution to control this orientation, as they are able to meet the strict size and power constraints onboard a small satellite. This project worked with Inovor Technologies to build on a custom reaction wheel developed by a 2021 project team. The aim of this project was to develop a functioning design based off the 2021 prototype, while improving the performance of the electric motor. The project also explored the possibility of improving manufacturability by implementing a Printed Circuit Board (PCB), rather than hand-wound coils, to provide magnetic flux in the motor. Designs were simulated using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to explore their electrical characteristics, before being manufactured and tested. Results obtained will likely be used to guide future design iterations.
- Khushal Shrivastava
- Charlie Dempster
3D SLM Titanium Alloys For Deep Space
The development of additive manufacturing (AM) for titanium alloy components is of growing interest as it offers a cost and time effective solution to manufacturing complex geometric components, especially those required for space applications. AM mitigates the challenges present when manufacturing titanium alloy components using traditional methods. These methods are difficult and expensive because of the unique properties of titanium alloy components. This project investigates the impact of printing orientation and annealing on the material properties of 3D printed titanium alloy (Ti-6Al-4V) via selective laser melting (SLM) AM process. A series of software and practical analysis were conducted to obtain mechanical properties of the samples, and inspect its microstructures and internal defects, such that a relationship between AM process parameters and mechanical properties could be established. Understanding this relationship allows for titanium alloy components to be efficiently and consistently AM-processed with properties tailored to their required applications.
- Maxwell Ryszawa
- Phillip Nguyen
- Yovan Arachchige
- Benjamin Tran
Making lunar robotics accessible
With the increase in lunar robotics research, the demand for a low cost, functional robot as a preliminary testing platform has risen significantly. The RE-RASSOR is a scaled down version of NASA’s RASSOR lunar rover, specifically designed for research and education. Its goal is to be a highly accessible and customisable 3D printed rover which will allow further research into lunar construction concepts and the application of autonomous swarm robotics. We received the RE-RASSOR from the Florida Space Institute and have assembled and tested the original platform systematically to make improvements to its general functionality, increase its ease of manufacturability, and validate its use cases.
- Chung Win Foong
- Bailey Sadedin-Wood
- Conor Noonan
- Henry Dawkins
Space IOT Sensors
The aim of our project is to adapt non destructive testing sensors used by our industry sponsor NDE solutions to be space compatible for the structural monitoring of potential future lunar habitats. This is done using additive manufacturing (3D Printing) to produce a titanium alloy casing. The project’s secondary objective was to develop IOT architecture that would allow communication of the sensor data to Earth.
- Navin Shah
- Hayden Reynolds
- Mitchell Newcombe-Hobby
Moon Dust: The Final Frontier
“I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating, and it gets everywhere.” – a real NASA quote about moon dust. Okay, maybe that was Star Wars, but moon dust (also called lunar regolith) is seriously a top concern for NASA’s Artemis program of returning humans to the moon by 2026. Lunar regolith is extremely damaging to space technologies including astronaut suits and lunar rovers as it is extremely abrasive and coats everything.
To improve lunar rover operational lifetime, we wanted to design and prototype a new lunar rover drivetrain to be more robust to lunar regolith. The design combines 2 novel technologies: magnetic gearing and electrodynamic dust shielding (EDS). Magnetic gearing will decrease the required surface area of sensitive contact regions and the EDS will reduce the amount of lunar regolith entering the drivetrain subsystem. We present the fully-operational drivetrain prototype with improved tested robustness against lunar regolith.
- Michael Laden
- Benjamin Lang
- Oscar Mortier-Spole
- Mitchell Munn
- Vinh Nguyen
- Hannah Vine Hall
Lunar Rover VR Simulation
Recent global interest in lunar exploration has skyrocketed due to the discovery of water in a form of ice at the poles in 2020. This presents a rare opportunity to create a simulation of a lunar rover for future astronaut training and psychological studies. The goals for the project were to integrate Unity Engine with Labview to drive the motion platform and design and implement safety features to the system. This was achieved through software implementation and computer networking to transmit and process data. This data is used to control the motion platform to simulate the lunar rover. We present a system that allows for real-time communication between Unity Engine and the motion platform, allowing an occupant to have a realistic lunar rover experience.
- Minh Vu
- Dang Khoa Nguyen
Bio-inspired Legged Robot for Space Exploration
The aim of our project is to develop a bio-inspired robot for legged exploration. We looked at animal movements in nature and determined which gaits would be best for surface level exploration of planetary and lunar bodies. The project has a major focus in robotics with our end goal being to build a robot capable of exploring other planets.
- Akshay Mistry
- Timothy King
- Bailey Coates
- Jaxon Craggs
- Vishwajit Pillay
- Andy Tran
Improved Resolution RADAR Imaging
Lunar Snake Robot Development
Pioneering Metal Printing For Space