Martyna Świerczyńska, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics graduate, received an award from the President of the Polish Space Agency presented for the best theses in the field of space research. She won the first-degree award in the MA theses category.
The title of the winning paper translates as The Analysis of the Influence of Moon Conditions on the Process of Regolith Transport. The supervisor of the thesis was Dr hab. (Eng.) Piotr Kulinowski, Associate Professor at the AGH UST from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics.
Martyna Świerczyńska performed a meticulous analysis of resources and conditions in space, with special attention to the Moon. As a result, she developed and assessed the concept of the transport process of regolith from Moon craters to its surface. The first stage included profiling extraterrestrial resources discovered on asteroids, Mars, and the Moon. The author demonstrated the eco-friendly, energy, and economic aspects of their exploration in space. Then, she thoroughly described the topography of the Moon and its conditions, as well as the characteristic features of regolith. The basis for designing the concept of the system included determining fundamental assumptions that included the choice of location, external conditions, system efficiency, route plan and profile, and the way of powering the transport devices. Consequently, the alumna was able to develop a concept of regolith transport process on the Moon. The process was divided into four stages: mining, crater transport, embankment transport, and long-distance transport. For each stage, the author suggested transport devices, for which she designed 24 variants of the system. For the multi-criteria decision-making process, she used the APEKS method, which allowed her to pinpoint the best configuration under selected criteria. Finally, for the variant she chose, she performed an efficiency analysis and calculated basic parameters for transport devices.
‘My favourite logistics area expanded to a cosmic scale. Today, the development of Moon logistics is a key aspect in future space exploration’, the laureate says.
Preparations to compile the thesis in the field of broad space issues included a series of activities in the area of space technologies. The author participated in the international Space Resources Conference, took extracurricular modules in Space Technologies and Space Commercialisation, was part of a student project related to sustainable technologies in space and Earth mining, and prepared a report from individual research work titled Lunar Logistics – a literature review during the Erasmus+ programme, when she visited the Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto.
This was both the fifth edition of the competition for the POLSA President Award for the best theses in the field of space research and the first edition for doctoral dissertations. It has broken a record in terms of the number of applications: 19 universities and research centres from all over Poland sent more than 40 papers.