A method of attaining high pressurized vessels in space, the Moon and with particular reference to Mars
Document typeConference report
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In this work consideration is given for a technological method of attaining high pressurized vessels by a solidification-sublimation thermal cycle of CO2 without the need of compressors or mechanical devices prone to failure. Whereas a CO2-freezing process was already proposed in the last decade as alternative method to obtain highly pressurized CO2 avoiding the use of mechanical and sorption pumps -which besides requiring large and heavy hardware would also need several stages of mechanical compressors if the same level of compression is desired, however this early work was intended to obtain propellant for thermal rockets on Mars. Nonetheless, a similar freezing process could be attractive as a method for thermal-to-mechanical solar energy conversion as well as storage not just for Mars but also extended for space stations and the Moon by using a closed cycle where CO2 is initially brought from Earth. For Mars, owing to its infinite reservoir of CO2 an open cycle is possible in which the high pressurized CO2 could be continuously generated and released into the atmosphere. This, besides the thermal energy conversion and storage, allow to envisage for the red planet an efficient, reliable and simple method for cleaning the dust of solar arrays by ushing the gas onto the solar arrays and then keeping it in the highest performance. Another possibility for Mars is the generation of a short but powerful electrical pulse which can be transformed into an electromagnetic signal by the prompt release of the highly pressurized gas. This pulse can be used as supplementary auxiliary system for communication of the Sample Fetching Rover (SFR), to overcome the dust attenuation of the electromagnetic waves needed to keep contact between the SFR with the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) which can be 15-kilometers apart each other according with the up dated baseline architecture studied today. Utilizing a simplified physical model, a first theoretical calculations of the core idea are performed.
CitationArias, F.J. A method of attaining high pressurized vessels in space, the Moon and with particular reference to Mars. A: AIAA/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference. "54th AIAA/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, articles". 2018, p. 1-6.