Upon the eventual return of humans to the lunar surface, leveraging local resources to construct landing pads and other infrastructure is an essential component to minimize cost and risk. The inability to accurately model landing and launch scenarios to predict damage to lunar structures poses risks to astronaut and equipment safety. The following experiment is an investigation of using simulation software and temperature sensors to model lunar and Martian regolith simulant-based concrete exposed to thermal loads. The basis of this experiment is built upon standards defined by the American Society for Testing and Materials, the fundamental axioms of structural health monitoring, simulation software capabilities and limitations, and the properties of likely candidates for materials used for lunar and Martian in-situ construction. Parallel testing was with simulation software, and physical equipment with material cube samples. The goal of this testing is to collect comparable temperature data to determine the accuracy of the simulation and determine the resulting temperature and strain response within the material. This thesis seeks to address the lack of characterization of lunar and Martian regolith simulant-based concrete in their expected use conditions. The outcomes of this experiment serve as a preliminary basis for future testing and characterization of in-situ based materials to be used to create critical infrastructure to support a sustained human presence on the moon and Mars.


Jacob Swanson

Committee Member

Rebecca Bates

Committee Member

Michael Fiske

Committee Member

Robert Sleezer

Date of Degree




Document Type



Integrated Engineering

Degree Program/Certificate

Engineering with an Aerospace Focus


Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE)


Integrated Engineering


Science, Engineering and Technology