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  Analysis of Lunar Boulder Tracks: Implications for Trafficability of Pyroclastic Deposits

Bickel, V. T., Honniball, C., Martinez, S., Rogaski, A., Sargeant, H., Bell, S., et al. (2019). Analysis of Lunar Boulder Tracks: Implications for Trafficability of Pyroclastic Deposits. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 124(5), 1296-1314. doi:10.1029/2018JE005876.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-CA42-F Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-CA43-E
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Bickel, Valentin Tertius1, Author              
Honniball, C.I., Author
Martinez, S.N., Author
Rogaski, A., Author
Sargeant, H.M., Author
Bell, S.K., Author
Czaplinski, E.C., Author
Farrant, B.E., Author
Harrington, E.M., Author
Tolometti, G.D., Author
Kring, D.A., Author
Affiliations:
1Department Planets and Comets, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society, ou_1832288              

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 Abstract: In a new era of lunar exploration, pyroclastic deposits have been identified as valuable targets for resource utilization and scientific inquiry. Little is understood about the geomechanical properties and the trafficability of the surface material in these areas, which is essential for successful mission planning and execution. Past incidents with rovers highlight the importance of reliable information about surface properties for future, particularly robotic, lunar mission concepts. Characteristics of 149 boulder tracks are measured in LRO NAC images and used to derive the bearing capacity of pyroclastic deposits and, for comparison, mare and highland regions from the surface down to ~5 m depth, as a measure of trafficability. Results are compared and complemented with bearing capacity values calculated from physical property data collected in situ during Apollo, Surveyor, and Lunokhod missions. Qualitative observations of tracks show no region‐dependent differences, further suggesting similar geomechanical properties in the regions. Generally, bearing capacity increases with depth and decreases with higher slope gradients, independent of the type of region. At depths of 0.19 to 5 m, pyroclastic materials have bearing capacities equal or higher than those of mare and highland material and, thus, may be equally trafficable at surface level. Calculated bearing capacities based on orbital observations are consistent with values derived using in situ data. Bearing capacity values are used to estimate wheel sinkage of rover concepts in pyroclastic deposits. This study's findings can be used in the context of traverse planning, rover design, as well as in situ extraction of lunar resources.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2019
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1029/2018JE005876
 Degree: -

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Title: Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Wiley Blackwell
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 124 (5) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 1296 - 1314 Identifier: ISSN: 2169-9100