CSP technology to recreate Mars on the Earth

Published on: Wednesday, 02 April 2014
PEMY (Pre‐Ecopoiesis Mars Yard) by Sonila Kadillari. Image courtesy of The Bartlett School of Architecture

How to test rover vehicles and other equipments before sending them to Mars? The only way is to simulate the red planet conditions as much as we can here in the Earth.

The Pre-Ecopoiesis Mars Yard (PEMY) is a site intended to be just that, Mars in the Earth. PEMY is the brainchild of Sonila Kadillari - UCL Bartlett graduate and winner of the inaugural Max Fordham Environmental Design Prize. The model considers the planet’s terrain, its temperature, light, atmosphere and future architecture.

Martian light qualities and gravity have been developed in collaboration with Max Fordham engineers Hareth Pochee and Tom Greenhill, whose results will be helpful for the design of the public test-bed proposed for construction in Florida.

So, How has the CSP technology contributed to this project? Well, Max Fordham engineers were involved in the design of the Sahara Forest Project, and they have harnessed the knowledged about Concentrated Solar Power to design to simulate the conditions of entry in Mars atmosphere, with intense heat and radiation.

The experience in the Sahara Forest Project has allowed the engineers to produce a concept design for a huge parabolic reflector with which to focus sun's rays to produce a patch os super heated terrain. With the help of 3D CAD and raytracing techniques, they could design a simple and static parabolic reflector that for a large part of the year will focus solar radiation onto a 20 m deameter area. The reflector would be 100 m high to achieve a 10X concentration factor.

Content tagged with: Mars | Max Fordham | Sahara Forest Project