The ISRU focus area will advance technologies for the collection, processing, storing, and use of material found or manufactured on other astronomical objects. This will require TRL maturation of various applicable technologies. Examples of topics to be explored are demonstrating systems for collecting and purifying water on the lunar surface, sorting granular lunar regolith by size, and methods for measuring mineral properties / oxygen content before and after processing.
As a planetary scientist, Dr. Karl Hibbitts conducts research to understand the compositions of the surfaces of airlessbodies in our Solar System, including how otherwise volatile materials like water can exist on the illuminated Moon. He is deputy-PI of the Europa Clipper MISE infrared mapping spectrometer and was deputy-PI and mid-IR camera lead on the NASA BRRISON and BOPPS stratospheric balloon missions that demonstrated the scientific and cost effectiveness of spectral imaging of solar system objects from NASA balloon platforms in the upper stratosphere.Dr. Hibbitts also leads an active planetary laboratory spectroscopy effort in a facility he developed at APL that couples VUV –LWIR spectral capabilities with a UHV system capable of mimicking the vacuum, temperature, and radiation environments of the Moon and other airless bodies in our solar system.
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