Advanced design and construction of lunar surface structures

Sohrob Mottaghi, Haym Benaroya

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


An igloo-shaped magnesium structure, supported on a sintered regolith, covered by sandbags of regolith shielding, and made using rapid manufacturing technologies is proposed as a potential design of a lunar structure. Lunar thermal environment has been modeled and a thermal analysis is carried out to study the effect of the regolith shielding as well as the sensitivity of such designs to measurement uncertainties of regolith and sintered thermal properties. It is shown that a three-meter thick regolith shielding can insulate the structure regardless of its location on the Moon. Also, a seismic event of body wave magnitude 7 has been developed based on best available data and applied to our typical structure. During the Apollo missions seismic events with estimated magnitudes of 5.5 were observed. Therefore, we begin to consider lunar seismic effects to assess the vulnerability of designs that ignore seismicity. The results indicate that the risk associated with these events is low in part because such structures are designed with a relatively high factor of safety. This paper provides an extensive and specific technical discussion of thermal analysis and seismology as applicable to structural design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013
PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation, IAF
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781629939094
StatePublished - 2013
Event64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013 - Beijing, China
Duration: Sep 23 2013Sep 27 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
ISSN (Print)0074-1795


Other64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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