1992-08-03

Optimization of Armored Spherical Tanks for Storage on the Lunar Surface 929085

A redundancy strategy for reducing micrometeroid armoring mass is investigated, with application to cryogenic reactant storage for a regenerative fuel cell (RFC) on the lunar surface. In that micrometeoroid environment, the cryogenic fuel must be protected from loss due to tank puncture. The tankage must have a sufficiently high probability of survival over the length of the mission that the probability of system failure due to tank puncture is low compared to the other mission risk factors. Assuming that a single meteoroid penetration can cause a storage tank to lose its contents, two means are available to raise the probability of surviving micrometeoroid attack to the desired level. One can armor the tanks to a thickness sufficient to reduce probability of penetration of any tank to the desired level; or add extra capacity, in the form of spare tanks, that results in survival of a given number out of the ensemble at the desired level. In this paper a combination of these strategies (armoring and redundancy) is investigated. The objective is to find the optimum combination which yields the lowest shielding mass per cubic meter of surviving fuel out of the original ensemble.
The investigation found that, for the volumes of fuel associated with multikilowatt class cryo storage RFC's, and the armoring methodology and meteoroid models used, storage should be fragmented into small individual tanks. Larger installations (more fuel) pay less of a shielding penalty than small installations. For the same survival probability over the same time period, larger volumes will require less armoring mass per unit volume protected.

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