Abstract Issue 1, 2016.
In this paper a combined heating-depressurization process for mining water from the regolith of Mars is proposed and its feasibility discussed. It is shown that for water content in the regolith % as found in latitudes between and a combined heating-depressurization process offers better energy usage performance, with savings up to % possible. Utilizing a simplified geometrical model, an analytical expression for the performance of such combined processes in comparison with traditional heating is derived.
Finally, the direct use of surface wind energy as a driving force for depressurization-sublimation is assessed, showing that for any season and any water content in the regolith a rudimentary low-tech windmill could provide the water for the design reference missions for human exploration of Mars. These results can make an important contribution to the design of energy strategies for water mining from the regolith in, for example, the conception and design of new rover vehicles.
Reference: Francisco J. Arias. On the feasibility of a thermodynamic combined heating-depressurization process and the direct use of surface wind energy for mining the Martian regolith for water. The Space Colonization Journal, Issue 1, 2016. URL: http://jour.space/issues/issue-1-2016/