New study lays foundation for building on the Moon

Posted By: Nairita Das
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Washington, Sept 30 (ANI): To build a structure anywhere, testing the nature of its foundation is of utmost importance, but it is difficult to test some building sites in advance - such as those on the moon. New research from North Carolina State University is helping resolve the problem by using computer models.

These models can utilize a small sample of soil to answer fundamental questions about how soil at a building site will interact with foundations.

"If you are going to build a large structure, you have to run a lot of tests on the building site to learn how the soil will behave in relation to the building's foundation," said Dr. Matt Evans, assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering.

"How stable is it? How much might the foundation settle over time? Traditionally, that testing process involves a great deal of equipment, time and money," he added.

Evans added that in some situations, that equipment, time and money is not available.

"It's cost-prohibitive to do traditional testing on lunar sites, so we developed a technique for applying computer models that can use a tiny sample to tell us about the potential interface between moon soil and anything we might build," he said.

Back home, the model could potentially be used to assess soil conditions for remote building sites where traditional testing is impractical or unduly expensive. For example, it could be useful for military applications or for siting remote research facilities. (ANI)

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