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R2D2 (Reliable Robust Dust Deflecting) Plug and Socket

Thu, 06/22/2023 - 11:57
Start Date: 
End Date: 
Programme Reference: 
MAANA Electric

To develop large-scale infrastructure on the Moon, many different systems will have to be shipped to the Moon to produce the necessary components. This means that the traditional design of systems cannot be assumed and a production machine cannot be expected to provide its own power especially when power demand is in the 100 kW – 1 MW range.

A large-scale lunar or martian base will most likely require an operating micro grid network in order to effectively progress large-scale developments. With this comes one key complexity, which is the interconnection of systems that require power with the systems producing power. On Earth this has been solved with standardised plugs and sockets, which are used for an electrical load to be connected to a generation source. Even on Earth however, many standards exist depending mainly on geography. In space it is even less desirable to have many different plugs as this will increase mass, cost and operational complexity. Therefore a truly standardised plug and socket solution for surface operations on the Moon and Mars is desirable. More important even is that a solution should be designed for the operating environment, taking into consideration aspects such as the dust issues, temperature swings, and the users of the plug.

Will astronauts utilise the plug or will it be robotic systems? One of the major issues identified in developing this concept is the interconnection of such solar panels with each other, the local grid and electrical loads. The concept has been discussed with other companies, and it has been identified as a general issue which the space industry will face as it moves into large scale infrastructure development on the Moon and Mars. The objective of this activity is to take the initiative in developing the plug and socket of the future and setting the standard for operations on the Moon and Mars.

Application Domain: 
Generic Technologies
Technology Domain: 
23 - Electrical, Electronic and Electro-mechanical (EEE) Components and Quality
Competence Domain: 
4-Electric Architecture, Power and Energy, EMC
moon plug
Off-Earth manufacturing
Moon solar power
Lunar power
Moon base
Executive summary: 
Final presentation: