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SBIR/STTR

Extreme Temperature Motor and Drill System, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Extreme Temperature Motor and Drill System, Phase II
In response to the need for motors, actuators and drilling systems that can operate in the harsh venusian environment for extended periods of time, on the order of several hours to days, Honeybee Robotics proposes continued development of an extreme temperature motor and an extreme temperature drill system and demonstration of both in simulated Venus surface conditions. A first-generation prototype motor was designed, built and tested in Venus-like conditions (460oC temperature, mostly CO2 gas environment) during Phase I. The Phase I tests demonstrated the feasibility of the design through verification that the motor can operate at 460oC for an extended period of time. A further developed and optimized version of this motor could be used to actuate drills, robotic arms, and other devices outside of an environment-controlled landed platform on the surface of Venus. The motor's capability to survive for hours (and potentially longer) in that environment is a major benefit to future Venus science missions since it would allow time for communication ground loops to optimize drill target selection and allow for multiple samples to be acquired from the subsurface. An extreme temperature motor would therefore revolutionize the exploration of Venus. In Phase II, both an extreme environment motor and an extreme environment drill system will be developed to TRL 6. Aside from Venus exploration, other potential NASA and non-NASA applications for an extreme temperature motor include actuation of fluid pumps, gimbals, robotic joints and manipulation systems, as well as turbine, expendable launch vehicle and furnace tending system components. More »

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