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SBIR/STTR

MPED: An ISRU Bucket Ladder Excavator Demonstrator System, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

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MPED: An ISRU Bucket Ladder Excavator Demonstrator System, Phase I
The proposed innovation is a planetary surface tool called the Multi Purpose Excavation Demonstrator (MPED), which is intended to both extract Lunar Soil to feed an in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) processing plant, and to perform lunar civil engineering applications. The proposed MPED prototype is an excavation tool known as a 'bucket ladder,' a device with a long heritage of industrial use that is intrinsically abrasion and dust-resistant. The device will be a prototype bucket ladder excavation tool with a pivot arm, and will have a target mass of 20kg and a target production rate of 500kg/hr. It is intended to be integrated into a roughly 80kg mobile platform for a total projected mobile system mass of 100kg. The system will be designed for minimum power consumption for the lunar case, with a target power consumption of less than 200 watts for the terrestrial demonstrator (note: lunar power consumption is expected to be lower due to gravitational differences). Productivity goals include a maximum berm height of 3 meters (based upon multiple passes), a single-pass excavation depth of 30 cm (with a width of between 10 and 25 cm), and a multi-pass road width of 4 meters. More »

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