Future planetary surface missions to the Moon or Mars, for example, can be augmented by the use of local materials, in order to reduce launch mass and expand mission capability. Using lunar regolith simulant and heating it within a susceptor-assisted microwave oven, it was possible to manufacture a variety of basaltic glasses. Furthermore, it was possible to shape these glasses by grinding and polishing the surface flat and smooth. Glasses manufactured from different lunar regolith simulants were coated with aluminium or silver, and the reflective properties of the resulting mirrors and uncoated surfaces were measured. It was shown that with a porous and/or smooth surface finish, mirrors could be made that reflect the incident solar light (400 nm–1250 nm) in-between 30% for the worst and 85% for the best samples. The same samples with uncoated surfaces showed to reflect less than 7% of incident solar light in the same wavelength range.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society - Research Fellow
- School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, Institute for GeoEnergy Engineering - Research Fellow
Person: Academic Researcher