This content is not included in your SAE MOBILUS subscription, or you are not logged in.
Simulation Optimization of the NASA Mars Fuel In-Situ Resource Utilization and Its Infrastructure
ISSN: 0148-7191, e-ISSN: 2688-3627
Published October 30, 2018 by SAE International in United States
Annotation ability available
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) current objectives include expanding space exploration and planning a manned expedition to Mars. In order to meet the latter objective, it is imperative that humans generate their own products by harnessing space resources, a process referred to as In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). ISRU will enable NASA to reduce both payload mass and mission cost by reducing the number of consumables required to be launched from Earth. The discrete-event simulation discussed focuses primarily on one ISRU system, the production of fuel for a return trip to Earth by utilizing Mar’s atmosphere and regolith. This ISRU system primarily uses autonomous rovers for exploration, excavation, processing of Mar’s regolith to produce fuel, and disposal of the processed regolith.
This study explores individual rover and component requirements including rover speeds, travel distances, functional periods, charging, and maintenance times. The interactions of these individual components are highly interdependent and was evaluated to determine how they affect the overall ISRU system behavior, other components, and system requirements. By creating a simulation, the requirements and viability of the fuel ISRU system is now able to be evaluated and analyzed as a basis for planning and designing strategies. This study then aims to optimize uptime and number of different rovers required to reduce mission cost while still meeting fuel requirements. In addition, special efforts were given to improve visuals and animations to represent the process and to better communicate the Mars fuel ISRU requirements to a variety of audiences.
CitationVezina, A., Coutts, L., Cohen, E., and Burns, D., "Simulation Optimization of the NASA Mars Fuel In-Situ Resource Utilization and Its Infrastructure," SAE Technical Paper 2018-01-1963, 2018, https://doi.org/10.4271/2018-01-1963.
- Colaprete , A. Resource Prospector: Evaluating the ISRU Potential of the Lunar Poles 2016 www.nasa.gov
- Drake , B.G. , Hoffman , S.J. , and Beaty , D.W. Human Exploration of Mars, Design Reference Architecture 5.0 Aerospace Conference 2010 1 24
- European Space Agency Mawrth Vallis Exploration 2017 esa.int/mars/54716-mawrth-vallis/
- IEEE IEEE Standard for Modeling and Simulation (M&S) High Level Architecture (HLA) 2018 www.ieee.org
- Linne , D.L. , Sanders , G.B. , Starr , S.O. et al. Overview of NASA Technology Development for In-Situ Resource Utilization 68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) Adelaide, Australia 2017 25 29
- Loundy , K. , Schaefer , L. , Foran , A. , Ninah , C. et al. A Distributed Simulation of a Martian Fuel Production Facility SAE Technical Paper 2017-01-2022 2017 10.4271/2017-01-2022
- Marshall Space Flight Center Advanced Space Transportation Program: Paving the Highway to Space 2008 www.nasa.gov
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration Landing Site Selection - Mars Science Laboratory 2013 mars.nasa.gov
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration Journey to Mars: Pioneering Next Steps in Space Exploration 2015 www.nasa.gov
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration Engineers Building Hard-Working Mining Robot www.nasa.gov
- Ninah , C. , Strevens , B. , Barcia , C. , Labbe , I. et al. A Discrete-Event Simulation of the NASA Fuel Production Plant on Mars SAE Technical Paper 2017-01-2017 2017 10.4271/2017-01-2017
- Sanders , G.B. and Larson , W.E. Progress Made in Lunar In Situ Resource Utilization under NASAs Exploration Technology and Development Program Earth and Space 2012 2012 10.1061/9780784412190.050
- U.S. Geological Survey Mars Datasets (Most GIS-Ready) 2014 isis.astrogeology.usgs.gov