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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Aerobot Sampling and Handling System, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Aerobot Sampling and Handling System, Phase I
Honeybee Robotics proposes to: ?Derive and document the functional and technical requirements for Aerobot surface sampling and sample handling across a range of aerial platforms, mission applications and exploration targets, like Mars and Titan. ?Create a preliminary design for a tether or boom deployed, reusable, low mass & volume surface and subsurface sample acquisition and handling system that can acquire ice and icy regolith samples and perform automated sample transfer. We will focus on designs relevant to environments and sample types on Mars and Titan. ?Demonstrate proof-of-concept, subsystem-level hardware that can acquire a subsurface ice or icy regolith sample deployed from a platform capable of simulating the horizontal and vertical motion of an Aerobot vehicle. The proposed innovations primary significance would be to: ?Provide mission planners with the performance specifications, necessary accommodations, concept of operations and the functional requirement information needed to develop new concepts and exploration applications for Aerobot platforms that have sampling and handling capabilities. ?Identify and address the critical challenges surrounding tether or boom deployed, very low-preload sampling systems targeted toward consolidated materials (e.g. ice or rock). ?Test and characterize the effectiveness of a variety of sample methods, relevant to Aerobot platforms, to acquire ice cores, chips, icy regolith and even liquid samples with integrity and volatiles retained. ?Demonstrate sampling at a safe distance and in a safe manner from the aerial platform. ?Demonstrate, with analysis and hardware, the basic feasibility of an Aerobot sampling and handling system. ?Provide requirement information and test data about an existing system, Honeybee's Touch and Go Sample System (TGSS), capability to acquire ice, icy regolith and even liquid samples from a platform with both horizontal and vertical motion during sampling operations. More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.