The Excavation and Construction focus group will assist NASA in evaluating technologies that enable affordable, robust, autonomous manufacturing and construction on the lunar surface to establish a sustained human presence. It will help NASA assess technologies related to lightweight manufacturing, mining, and assembly equipment that can process in-situ lunar surface materials. Relevant manufacturing and assembly processes will be assessed some of which are additive construction, deployable metal structures, sintering, molten regolith fiber pulling, etc. The focus group will include discussions in the following technical categories:
- Autonomous vehicle and robots for E&C.
- Excavation technology for hard regolith/ice material.
- Habitat construction in lunar conditions using in-situ resources and specialized manufacturing and assembly equipment.
- Increased autonomy of operations.
- Risk Mitigation and identification, financial planning.
The kickoff telecon for the Excavation and Construction Focus Group was held on Friday, June 26, 2020.
Dr. Athonu Chatterjee is a researcher in the space exploration sector of APL. His background is in mechanical engineering, materials processing, and modeling and simulation. His present activities at APL include laser-material interaction, spacecraft design,and lunar exploration. Prior to joining APL, he worked at the research centers of General Electric (GE) and Corning. There he worked on new product and process development for diverse applications such as high-temperature ceramics matric composites (CMC) for aircraft engines, turbine blade manufacturing processes, solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFC), micro-reactors, etc. He obtained his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stony Brook University, NY.
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