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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Impact-Actuated Digging Tool for Lunar Excavation, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Impact-Actuated Digging Tool for Lunar Excavation, Phase I
Honeybee Robotics proposes to develop a vacuum compatible, impact-actuated digging tool for the excavation of frozen and compacted regolith on the lunar surface and in the permanently shadowed craters of the lunar poles. This technology development effort will address the most challenging aspects of excavation in the lunar environment and work to develop a design relevant to a range of future lunar missions. This effort will also serve to guide and inform the requirements for the vehicles and systems that will be necessary for such missions. The fundamental architecture of an impact-actuated digging tool has been demonstrated for terrestrial applications for the Department of Defense. Honeybee's digging tool design is a novel approach ideally suited for lunar applications to defeat compacted and frozen regolith. By using the impact energy imparted by a reciprocating hammer transferred through the scoop to defeat the target material, the need for large reaction loads from the vehicle is minimized, allowing for a much smaller, lower mass system. This ongoing effort will serve to instruct and maximize the benefit to NASA. More »

Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

Technology Transitions

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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.