The objective of the proposed Phase I effort is to develop a lightweight (and ultimately high W/kg) and low stow mirror solar concentrator that can concentrate sunlight light at the lunar surface for use in situ resource utilization (ISRU), specifically for oxygen extraction from lunar regolith. In Phase I, L.Garde, Inc. will (1) design a full scale solar concentrator capable of meeting NASA performance requirements, (2) build a small-scale proof-of-concept prototype, (3) demonstrate the design capabilities through experimental testing. In Phase II, L.Garde, Inc. will develop the full scale system design and build a relevant scale prototype for ground testing and further demonstration of capabilities.
The development of a lunar based solar concentrator directly fulfills needs of the NASA plans described in the solicitation topic and will contribute to ISRU technology which is critical for the success of the Artemis program. It has been demonstrated by many scientific groups that water can be harvested from regolith which can be used to sustain life on the lunar surface as well as provide fuel for deep space travel. This technology can also be used concentrate light on solar arrays to generate energy or power.
Outside of NASA applications, other government missions that can utilize this technology such as Earth-based concentrated solar power industry, other applications that support “The Green Initiative”, and deployable antennas for military and commercial applications.