MOONRISE: LZH and TU Berlin bring 3D printing to the Moon with laser and AI

Wed, 22 Jun 2022 04:56:37 GMT
Space Daily

Berlin, Germany (SPX) Jun 22, 2022 3D printing on the Moon: Scientists from the Laser Zentrum...

3D printing on the Moon: Scientists from the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. and the Technische Universitat Berlin are planning a flight to the Moon to melt lunar dust with laser beams.

To do this, the researchers want to bring a laser system to the lunar surface and melt the lunar dust, a material that is available everywhere on the Moon.

The goal is to demonstrate that laser melting works on the Moon - and, in perspective, can be used to produce 3D-printed infrastructure for a lunar base.

How will launch pads, landing sites and buildings be constructed on the lunar surface? "At a cost of up to a million dollars per kilogram, a complete transport of the material from Earth to the Moon would be extremely expensive", explains Jorg Neumann, MOONRISE project manager at LZH. Houses made of lunar dust Pulverized lunar rock, or regolith, on the other hand, is abundant on the Moon and could be used as a raw material for 3D printing.

The task now is to make the laser fit for lunar flight: The scientists from LZH and TU Berlin want to develop a flight model of the laser that is qualified for use in space.

Artificial intelligence for use on the Moon The laser will be supported by artificial intelligence.

Lunar landscape at the TU Berlin The big challenge here is that the AI must be trained in advance for use on the Moon.

To this end, scientists will create a laboratory at the TU Berlin in which they will photograph the regolith under lighting conditions that mimic those on the Moon.

A regolith construction kit has been developed over the past few years, which allows the various possible landing sites to be precisely recreated in terms of properties. This is then adapted in the project to the final landing site on the Moon, so that in the laboratory the laser and the AI can be aligned with the real lunar mission," explains Benedict Grefen from the "Exploration and Propulsion" working group of the field of Aeronautics and Astronautics at TU Berlin.

Flight to the Moon in 2024 The MOONRISE-FM project will run for three years and is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Action with 4.75 million euros.