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Proceedings Paper

Synchronous separation, seaming, sealing and sterilization (S4) using brazing for sample containerization and planetary protection
Author(s): Yoseph Bar-Cohen; Mircea Badescu; Xiaoqi Bao; Hyeong Jae Lee; Stewart Sherrit; David Freeman; Sergio Campos
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Paper Abstract

The potential return of samples back to Earth in a future NASA mission would require protection of our planet from the risk of bringing uncontrolled biological materials back with the samples. In order to ensure this does not happen, it would be necessary to “break the chain of contact (BTC)”, where any material reaching Earth would have to be inside a container that is sealed with extremely high confidence. Therefore, it would be necessary to contain the acquired samples and destroy any potential biological materials that may contaminate the external surface of their container while protecting the sample itself for further analysis. A novel synchronous separation, seaming, sealing and sterilization (S4) process for sample containerization and planetary protection has been conceived and demonstrated. A prototype double wall container with inner and outer shells and Earth clean interstitial space was used for this demonstration. In a potential future mission, the double wall container would be split into two halves and prepared on Earth, while the potential on-orbit execution would consist of inserting the sample into one of the halves and then mating to the other half and brazing. The use of brazing material that melts at temperatures higher than 500°C would assure sterilization of the exposed areas since all carbon bonds are broken at this temperature. The process would be executed in two-steps, Step-1: the double wall container halves would be fabricated and brazed on Earth; and Step-2: the containerization and sterilization process would be executed on-orbit. To prevent potential jamming during the process of mating the two halves of the double wall container and the extraction of the brazed inner container, a cone-within-cone approach has been conceived and demonstrated. The results of this study will be described and discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 April 2017
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 10168, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2017, 101680A (12 April 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2258673
Show Author Affiliations
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Mircea Badescu, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Xiaoqi Bao, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Hyeong Jae Lee, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Stewart Sherrit, California Institute of Technology (United States)
David Freeman, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Sergio Campos, California Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10168:
Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2017
Jerome P. Lynch, Editor(s)

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