Design and Analysis of 3D-Printable Thin-Shell Dome Structures for Extraterrestrial Habitation

Matthew Troemner, Elham Ramyar, Benton Johnson, Gianluca Cusatis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Extreme environmental conditions, unusual loadings, and most importantly, the availability of novel construction techniques will likely dictate the form of any extraterrestrial habitat built on Mars. While a habitat could be constructed by astronauts, it is highly preferred for such a structure to already exist when the first humans land on the Martian surface. Thus, automated structure fabrication equipped with 3D-printing technologies that use in situ resources is an intriguing approach to consider. This paper presents an overview of the design and analysis of a dome-shaped Martian habitat that was designed at Northwestern University in collaboration with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) as part of NASA's 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge. The structure has a novel composite hemispheric-parabolic dome that is optimized to sustain self-weight and environmental loads, and to be 3D-printed on an inflatable pressure vessel with Marscrete, a Martian concrete manufactured primarily with local Martian regolith and sulfur. This study examines the structural performance of such a habitat under expected Martian loading conditions, including wind, regolith deposition from storms, and gravity. Furthermore, the habitat performance is assessed under meteorite impact of varying masses and velocities. Finally, a construction scheme, potential internal layout, and functional usability of spaces are also envisioned for a four people unit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEarth and Space 2021
Subtitle of host publicationSpace Exploration, Utilization, Engineering, and Construction in Extreme Environments - Selected Papers from the 17th Biennial International Conference on Engineering, Science, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environments
EditorsPaul J. van Susante, Alaina Dickason Roberts
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Pages1335-1341
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780784483374
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Event17th Biennial International Conference on Engineering, Science, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environments: Space Exploration, Utilization, Engineering, and Construction in Extreme Environments, Earth and Space 2021 - Seattle, United States
Duration: Apr 19 2021Apr 23 2021

Publication series

NameEarth and Space 2021: Space Exploration, Utilization, Engineering, and Construction in Extreme Environments - Selected Papers from the 17th Biennial International Conference on Engineering, Science, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environments

Conference

Conference17th Biennial International Conference on Engineering, Science, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environments: Space Exploration, Utilization, Engineering, and Construction in Extreme Environments, Earth and Space 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySeattle
Period4/19/214/23/21

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering

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