Lunar Polar Illumination for Power Analysis

9781287226659: Lunar Polar Illumination for Power Analysis
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This paper presents illumination analyses using the latest Earth-based radar digital elevation model (DEM) of the lunar south pole and an independently developed analytical tool. These results enable the optimum sizing of solar/energy storage lunar surface power systems since they quantify the timing and durations of illuminated and shadowed periods. Filtering and manual editing of the DEM based on comparisons with independent imagery were performed and a reduced resolution version of the DEM was produced to reduce the analysis time. A comparison of the DEM with lunar limb imagery was performed in order to validate the absolute heights over the polar latitude range, the accuracy of which affects the impact of long range, shadow-casting terrain. Average illumination and energy storage duration maps of the south pole region are provided for the worst and best case lunar day using the reduced resolution DEM. Average illumination fractions and energy storage durations are presented for candidate low energy storage duration south pole sites. The best site identified using the reduced resolution DEM required a 62 hr energy storage duration using a fast recharge power system. Solar and horizon terrain elevations as well as illumination fraction profiles are presented for the best identified site and the data for both the reduced resolution and high resolution DEMs compared. High resolution maps for three low energy storage duration areas are presented showing energy storage duration for the worst case lunar day, surface height, and maximum absolute surface slope.

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