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Center Innovation Fund: ARC CIF

A Sample Delivery System for Planetary Missions

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

A Sample Delivery System for Planetary Missions
The project will develop, test and characterize the performance of a prototype /sample delivery system (SDS) implemented as an end effector on a robotic arm capable of digging or receiving cuttings from a drill. The device will be tested in Mars conditions with soils and ices including drill cuttings acquired from important Mars analogs including Antarctica soils and icy samples that are sticky. Motor current, sample delivery rates and particle deposition trajectories from the SDS into mockup instrument inlets will be measured in Mars conditions. HOW IT WORKS: A rotating wire brush (Fig 2) pushes samples through a grate (Fig 3) with spacing set to limit particle size. Small particles pass through the grate. The larger particles are jettisoned when the robot arm rotates the scoop upside down. Running the brush in reverse ejects any sticky particles. More »

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