Optical Mining™ technology uses concentrated light to excavate and extract propellant feedstocks from volatile rich asteroids, moons, and planetary surfaces. The Apis™ mission architecture enables massive cost reduction for deep space human exploration within a decade.The Optical Mining™ Test Bed (OMTB) is the basis for developing and eventually mastering Optical Mining technology. In order to insure that optical mining works in space with real asteroids, the OMTB simulates the vacuum of space and will use real or simulated asteroids for testing. The OMTB makes use of the world’s largest bulb to simulate the light from the sun, which is then focused onto the test object. By running controlled tests on earth, TransAstra can develop the procedures and techniques to be used in space, especially in the flight demonstrations.
Optical Mining™ Test Bed
The OMTB simulates the working environment of Optical Mining by mimicking several aspects of space. First, the test chamber is held in a near vacuum similar to that of space. Next, the light is provided in a controlled manner by a 32 kW xenon bulb, which is able to achieve the light output expected in Optical Mining. Finally, in order to focus the beam, the xenon bulb will be on an adjustable rail system. All of these components come together to allow TransAstra to perfect Optical Mining on Earth with out having to send anything into space.