Anm Model Approach for Lunar Soil Simulant Properties Study

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Conference Proceeding

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In this paper, the upgraded Anm model, which places multiple particles into a 3D unit cell, was used to study the microstructural properties of lunar soil simulant. A statistical analysis was performed to study the packing density and shape effects with a large number of modeled particles. The lunar soil simulant JSC-1a was developed to study simulant soil behaviors for large and medium scale engineering studies in support of future human activities on the Moon. Parameters such as particle size distribution, specific gravity, angle of internal friction, and cohesion have all been investigated. However, no research has been performed to explore the microstructural behaviors and their influences on the engineering properties as a whole. As such, Anm model can provide us a useful approach to investigate microstructural features of lunar simulant, e.g. charge contact, lofting, transport, stratification and adsorption. Thus the virtual JSC-1a microstructure can be used to study lunar soil handling, construction, excavation, and transportation. Furthermore, the uniform-thickness shell is a customized parameter to control the minimum inter-particle distances. Integrating this algorithm into individual particles packing, the Anm model can be used to create a virtual lunar regolith to investigate the particle contact charging properties at the individual particle scale. In general, this virtual lunar soil simulant model could provide a broad range of applications to lunar surface missions. It is a potential tool for modeling the behavior of the lunar soils, and accurately predicting the geotechnical properties of lunar soils for lunar base planning and construction.