The manned exploration of Mars is a demanding goal, requiring a large amount of resources. Among them, oxygen is without doubt pivotal since it is needed for the crew to breathe and for the Mars Ascent Vehicle to fuel the return journey to the Earth. In light of this, In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) practices become useful. We know that carbon dioxide constitutes about 96% of Martian atmosphere and it is the candidate for oxygen extraction through a Solid Oxide Electrolysis reaction. The Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE) demonstrator proved this concept on board of the Perseverance Rover in April 2021. A full-scale device suitable for a human mission, called L-MOXIE, will be more than 200 times larger. In this work, we evaluate the power requirements of L-MOXIE through process simulations obtaining a consumption of 22.8 kW. This result suggests a thorough redesign of the power generation system. To perform this design activity, we employ a forcing technique based on C-K theory pillars to broaden the spectrum of options retrieved from the literature review. The degrees of freedom are design variables associated with the power generation technology, the power transmission system and the power storage system while the constraints are set forth by the Martian environment, the oxygen handling and storage requirements, and the overall system safety and maintenance requirements. From the partial solutions, we build a morphological chart, and three concepts are then generated based on nuclear, grounded solar, and orbiting photovoltaic Power Generation System. We performed a Multi-Attribute Utility Analysis (MAUA) to assess them, and the nuclear and grounded solar concepts proved more attractive than the orbiting photovoltaic concept. These results are intended to support future activities such as a feasibility analysis and a multi-objective optimization for the nuclear and grounded solar concept.

Power generation system for l-moxie: Concept proposal and trade-off analysis

Bernelli Zazzera F.;
2021

Abstract

The manned exploration of Mars is a demanding goal, requiring a large amount of resources. Among them, oxygen is without doubt pivotal since it is needed for the crew to breathe and for the Mars Ascent Vehicle to fuel the return journey to the Earth. In light of this, In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) practices become useful. We know that carbon dioxide constitutes about 96% of Martian atmosphere and it is the candidate for oxygen extraction through a Solid Oxide Electrolysis reaction. The Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE) demonstrator proved this concept on board of the Perseverance Rover in April 2021. A full-scale device suitable for a human mission, called L-MOXIE, will be more than 200 times larger. In this work, we evaluate the power requirements of L-MOXIE through process simulations obtaining a consumption of 22.8 kW. This result suggests a thorough redesign of the power generation system. To perform this design activity, we employ a forcing technique based on C-K theory pillars to broaden the spectrum of options retrieved from the literature review. The degrees of freedom are design variables associated with the power generation technology, the power transmission system and the power storage system while the constraints are set forth by the Martian environment, the oxygen handling and storage requirements, and the overall system safety and maintenance requirements. From the partial solutions, we build a morphological chart, and three concepts are then generated based on nuclear, grounded solar, and orbiting photovoltaic Power Generation System. We performed a Multi-Attribute Utility Analysis (MAUA) to assess them, and the nuclear and grounded solar concepts proved more attractive than the orbiting photovoltaic concept. These results are intended to support future activities such as a feasibility analysis and a multi-objective optimization for the nuclear and grounded solar concept.
ASCEND 2021
978-1-62410-612-5
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1203494
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