Microwave heating apparatus of lunar regolith for variant experiments of lunar ISRU missions (MARVEL)
Due to the volumetric heating characteristic intrinsic to microwave heating, it is a much more efficient process than solar or laser sintering for large-scale manufacturing and construction.
However, testing with lunar simulants cannot fulfil some missing information on microwave heating of lunar regolith, which includes the effects of nanophase iron and highly electrostatic and irregular particle shapes under the real lunar environment, i.e. vacuum and microgravity.
Therefore, we aim to develop flight hardware of microwave heating apparatus of lunar regolith for variant experiments of lunar ISRU (MARVEL) as a payload for future ESA lunar ISRU missions.
Aims and objectives
- Develop a model of the microwave heating behaviour of lunar regolith under lunar conditions
- Establish crucial criteria for developing a microwave heating-based fabrication method, including 3D printing.