During Phase 1, we investigated a number of blade designs for 2, 3, and 4 blade sampler geometries. We found that blades with small apex angles can penetrate harder formations with much lower energies. We propose to develop a 3 or 4 blade design for sampling much harder (4 MPa and more) material. During Phase 2 we will initially perform more extensive blade testing to determine optimum design, we will also investigate use of pyros to deploy blades, breadboard and test force neutral deployment and investigate One Resettable vs Multiple Samplers architectures. These studies will lead to 3 vs 4 blade architecture study (Tetrahedron Comet Sampler or TeCos and Pyramid Comet Sampler or PyCoS) and downselection. The TRL 4 TeCoS or PyCoS will then be build and tested. The results will be used to design TRL 5 system. The TRL prototype will then be build and tested in a range of analog materials from 5 DOF arm to mimic 2-3 DOF TAG arm and spacecraft movement.More »
Samples from comets, asteroids and small moons hold great scientific interest. Near term missions that would benefit this technology include NF4 Comet Surface Sample Return and Cryogenic Comet Nucleus Sample Return (CCSNR) Mission. The sampler can also be used on NASA Asteroid Redirect Mission.
The sampling probe and canister subsystems for touch and go sampling could be repurposed for capturing of samples from hazardous terrestrial sites (nuclear reactors, chemical spills). The samplers could be deployed from quadcopters. Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries, companies interested in asteroid mining for economic gains, would benefit these technologies as well.
|Organizations Performing Work
|Honeybee Robotics LLC
|Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)