Autonomous Multirobot Technologies for Mars Mining Base Construction and Operation

by   Jekan Thangavelautham, et al.

Beyond space exploration, the next critical step towards living and working in space requires developing a space economy. One important challenge with this space-economy is ensuring the low-cost transport of raw materials from one gravity-well to another. The escape delta-v of 11.2 km/s from Earth makes this proposition very expensive. Transporting materials from the Moon takes 2.4 km/s and from Mars 5.0 km/s. Based on these factors, the Moon and Mars can become colonies to export material into this space economy. One critical question is what are the resources required to sustain a space economy? Water has been identified as a critical resource both to sustain human-life but also for use in propulsion, attitude-control, power, thermal storage and radiation protection systems. Water may be obtained off-world through In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) in the course of human or robotic space exploration. Based upon these important findings, we developed an energy model to determine the feasibility of developing a mining base on Mars that mines and exports water (transports water on a Mars escape trajectory). Our designs for a mining base utilize renewable energy sources namely photovoltaics and solar-thermal concentrators to provide power to construct the base, keep it operational and export the water using a mass driver (electrodynamic railgun). Our studies found the key to keeping the mining base simple and effective is to make it robotic. Teams of robots (consisting of 100 infrastructure robots) would be used to construct the entire base using locally available resources and fully operate the base. This would decrease energy needs by 5-folds. Furthermore, the base can be built 5-times faster using robotics and 3D printing. This shows that automation and robotics is the key to making such a base technologically feasible.



There are no comments yet.


page 2

page 5

page 6

page 11

page 12

page 13

page 14


Autonomous Robot Swarms for Off-World Construction and Resource Mining

Kick-starting the space economy requires identification of critical reso...

Enabling Commercial Autonomous Space Robotic Explorers

In contrast to manned missions, the application of autonomous robots for...

Robotic Vision for Space Mining

Future Moon bases will likely be constructed using resources mined from ...

Coordination and Control of Multiple Climbing Robots in Transport of Heavy Loads through Extreme Terrain

The discovery of ice deposits in the permanently shadowed craters of the...

Targeted Source Detection for Environmental Data

In the face of growing needs for water and energy, a fundamental underst...

The ORCA Hub: Explainable Offshore Robotics through Intelligent Interfaces

We present the UK Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Hub for Offshore ...

Locomotion Design for an Internally Actuated Cubic Robot for Exploration of Low Gravity Bodies in the Solar System

The exploration of asteroids and comets is important in the quest for th...
This week in AI

Get the week's most popular data science and artificial intelligence research sent straight to your inbox every Saturday.