Lunar ground motions

Lunar ground motions can potentially become a hazard for structures or infrastructures on the Moon. Therefore, within this research theme we aspire to: (a) collect  seismological recordings from the Moon which are publicly available; (b) identify usable ground motion recordings resulting from the two most pertinent types of lunar events (shallow moonquakes and meteorite impacts), and develop appropriate input motions for numerical analyses and experiments; (c) create a public online database of processed data for access by future designers, hosted on this website.

Future aspirations associated with this area are to facilitate the study of seismic hazard on the Moon, and potentially on Mars, depending on the data received from the InSight mission.

Optimisation of the structural form of arches against gravitational and inertial loading

For spanning long and within the ISRU framework (use of regoltih as a structural material), we have decided that the most ideal structural type to use is arches (in 2D) of different geometries (circular, parabolic, catenary, etc). Arches are known to rely mainly on compressive forces and through their thrust lines to convey the external loading to their supports/foundation/springing.

Self-weight and compression provide their inherent lateral stability as well. Hence, due to low gravity (on the Moon almost 1/6 of the Earth’s gravitational field), this stability is not there anymore resulting to a requirement for arches with great wall thickness. The idea to use both rigorous engineering principles and AI algorithms in order to optimise the structural form of arches in order to be able to withstand inertial loading becomes more than evident.

Static behaviour and efficiency of optimised arches against gravitational and inertial loading

Following theme 2, as structural engineers, we need to structurally assess the results from our form-finding algorithms in order to further enhance the optimal forms of the arches by looking at their static behaviour against gravitational and lateral loading. The main objective here is to minimise the principal tensile and compressive stresses by improving the structural geometry accordingly. It is observed that by increasing the cross sectional areas only at specific locations (based on the stress concentrations), the shape can be dramatically more efficient.

Dynamic behaviour and further optimisation of arches in low gravity subjected to lunar strong ground motions

The optimal constant- and varying-thickness arches (CTAs and VTAs) identified from themes 2 and 3, are further investigated through their dynamic behaviour. The scope of this theme is to develop ways to minimise bending (and therefore tension) by assuming that the regolith-based structural material has a low tensile strength. There are mainly three configurations investigated herein: (a) fixed arches; (b) arches fixed on a foundation base that is able to slide; (c) arches fixed on a foundation base that is able to uplift and start rocking, subjected to a dataset of strong ground motions as determined from theme 1. The main objective is to estimate the probability of failure of these configurations in low gravity and select the most appropriate.

Centrifuge testing of clay 3D-printed form-found arches subjected to lunar strong ground motions

Under this theme, we aspire to study the real dynamic behaviour of reduced-scale, clay 3D-printed replicas of the three configurations of theme 4 in low-gravity conditions. The reduced-scale models will fit a centrifuge box (400x750x334) that will spin with a reduced acceleration in order to simulate appropriately the corresponding gravitational fields.

Simultaneously to the spinning, the box will be shaken with the given input strong ground motions. An additional parameter of investigation is how soil-structure interaction can affect the dynamic behaviour of the arches/vaults.

Macroscopic investigation of the mechanical properties of compacted and thermally-treated martian regolith simulant (MMS1 and MMS2).

The research under this theme complements ideally the work done in other themes, as we target to macroscopically determine the mechanical properties of compacted martian regolith simulant (MMS1 and MMS2) treated thermally. The study will involve also any anisotropic behaviour of MMS1 and MMS2 bricks in flexure.

Dr Georgios Kampas

Georgios is a Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering at the University of Greenwich and the Principal Investigator (PI) of this project. He holds a diploma in Civil Engineering from the University of Patras, Greece, an MSc in Engineering Seismology from University of Grenoble and a PhD in Structural Engineering from the University of Patras, Greece. Georgios’ areas of interest and expertise are resilient structures or infrastructure systems (with a focus on bridges and tunnels) against natural hazards, earthquake engineering, seismic isolation and structural health monitoring. His work mainly lies on the interface between structural and geotechnical engineering with a specific focus on soil-structural interaction. His research work has won the “N. Amvrazis” New Investigator Award from the Hellenic Association of Earthquake Engineering (2013) and the Early Career Researcher (ECR): Research Excellence Award (2019) from the University of Greenwich.

He envisions to develop an interdisciplinary consortium of collaborators in order to tackle the great challenge of designing the first resilient structures on the Moon and Mars within the ISRU framework.

Email: [email protected]
Website: Link

Dr Panos Kloukinas

Dr Panos Kloukinas joined the University of Greenwich in September 2018. He was previously a Senior Research Associate in Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Bristol, UK (since December 2013). He holds a 5-year Diploma Degree in Civil Engineering (2003) and a MSc Degree (2006) from the University of Patras, Greece. In 2012 he earned a PhD degree from the same institution, with dissertation title “Contributions to Static and Seismic Analysis of Retaining Walls by Theoretical and Experimental Methods” (Advisor: Professor George Mylonakis).
His research interests include Earthquake Geotechnics, Wave Propagation, Seismic Soil-Structure Interaction (with emphasis on Dynamics of Retaining Structures), Computational Geomechanics (with emphasis on finite-element and finite-difference formulations), Limit Analysis, Foundation Engineering and Engineering Geology. He has broad experience in analytical, computational and experimental research, including field and laboratory testing methods on soils, construction materials and structures. His previous research post was exclusively related to Earthquake Engineering problems and Shaking Table modelling.

Website: Link

Prof Jonathan Knappett

Jonathan joined the University of Dundee as a Lecturer in 2006, following MEng and PhD degrees at the University of Cambridge. He is currently a Reader in Civil Engineering and Discipline Lead, having developed and previously led the University’s MSc in Geotechnical Engineering for 8 years.
His expertise includes centrifuge and 1-g physical modelling of soil-structure interaction problems, numerical (Finite Element) simulation and analytical modelling.

His research interests fall into three main areas:
1. Earthquake Engineering
2. Biomediated Geotechnical Engineering
3. Offshore Geotechnics, primarily anchoring systems for marine renewable energy

This research has been supported by funding from the UK Research Councils, the European Commission, and various overseas, charitable and industrial organisations to a total value of over £4.5M. He was awarded the British Geotechnical Association Medal in 2009 and the TK Hsieh Award for Civil Engineering Dynamics from the ICE/SECED in 2010. In 2017 he gave the 13th Géotechnique Lecture on Use of vegetation in low carbon geotechnical engineering.

Website: Link

Dr Olga-Joan Ktenidou

Olga is a civil engineer with an MSc in Soil Mechanics and Engineering Seismology from Imperial College and a PhD in engineering seismology from Aristotle University, Greece. She has conducted research at the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, the Institute of Earth Sciences of Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center of the University of California at Berkeley, and the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, and has taught at the University of Greenwich.

She joined NOA as an associate researcher and is currently head of seismicity analysis and monitoring. Her main area of expertise is seismic hazard and ground motion, in particular site characterisation and ground motion attenuation, uncertainty and variability. She has served as panel expert or consultant on ground motion characterisation for major Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment projects in the energy sector in the US, UK and Switzerland. She is an elected member of the Executive committee of the EU consortium EFEHR (European Facilities for Earthquake Hazard and Risk) and an invited member of the User Advisory Group for EU consortium ORFEUS (Observatories & Research Facilities for European Seismology). She has served as reviewer for 20 international journals and organised several conference sessions in site response and attenuation. She is a top-2 finalist for the British Council’s Professional Development awards in Greece for the period 2004-2019.