This proposal builds on our NASA funded prototype BrickBot for technology demonstration as the first step in creating a BrickLayer system for building a lunar Launch/Landing Pad (LLP). The BrickLayer uses feedstock of raw regolith to produce bricks in a single-step lunar regolith melting, brick forming and placement method without use of grouts or mortar for landing pad creation, or for any flat hardened surface area such as roads or foundations.
To enable the brickmaking process, our proposed innovation is a multi-step process of regolith works executed by multiple machines operating autonomously or in remote control mode with step sequencing/timing to enable machine-to-machine collaboration. The process includes construction system components using two separate mobility platform types, one for landing zone site preparation and another for LLP production. The site preparation platform employs a versatile autonomous, single, compact, robotic rover for interchangeable tool implements: (a) tool for bulk sieving of large rocks from the site, (b) excavator drum bucket, derived from the NASA developed Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations (RASSOR) and with hauler serves a dual function of excavation and supplying regolith feedstock for the BrickLayer, (c) site leveling tool, and (d) vibrating compaction roller. The LLP production platform is a variation of the All-Terrain Hex-Legged Extra-Terrestrial Explorer (ATHLETE), a six-legged robotic lunar rover developed by NASA. The ATHLETE platform functions interchangeably for our Bricklayer production system and our Regolith Particle Acquisition and Containment (RegoPAC) system, utilized for LLP blast shield construction.