Soft-Landing Dynamic Analysis of a Manned Lunar Lander Em-Ploying Energy Absorption Materials of Carbon Nanotube Buckypaper

Q Yuan and H Chen and H Nie and G Zheng and C Wang and LK Hao, MATERIALS, 14, 6202 (2021).

DOI: 10.3390/ma14206202

With the rapid development of the aerospace field, traditional energy absorption materials are becoming more and more inadequate and cannot meet the requirements of having a light weight, high energy absorption efficiency, and high energy absorption density. Since existing studies have shown that carbon nanotube (CNT) buckypaper is a promising candidate for energy absorption, owing to its extremely high energy absorption efficiency and remarkable mass density of energy absorption, this study explores the application of buckypaper as the landing buffer material in a manned lunar lander. Firstly, coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations were implemented to investigate the compression stress-strain relationships of buckypapers with different densities and the effect of the compression rate within the range of the landing velocity. Then, based on a self-designed manned lunar lander, buckypapers of appropriate densities were selected to be the energy absorption materials within the landing mechanisms of the lander. For comparison, suitable aluminum honeycomb materials, the most common energy absorption materials in lunar landers, were determined for the same landing mechanisms. Afterwards, the two soft-landing multibody dynamic models are established, respectively, and their soft-landing performances under three severe landing cases are analyzed, respectively. The results depicted that the landers, respectively, adopting the two energy absorption materials well, satisfy the soft- landing performance requirements in all the cases. It is worth mentioning that the lander employing the buckypaper is proved to demonstrate a better soft-landing performance, mainly reflected in reducing the mass of the energy absorption element by 8.14 kg and lowing the maximum center-of-mass overload of the lander by 0.54 g.

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