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Proceedings Paper

Ultrasonic/sonic drilling/coring (USDC) for planetary applications
Author(s): Yoseph Bar-Cohen; Stewart Sherrit; Benjamin P. Dolgin; Xiaoqi Bao; Zensheu Chang; Dharmendra Sign Pal; Ron Krahe; Jason Kroh; Shu Du; Thomas Peterson
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Paper Abstract

Future NASA exploration missions are increasingly seeking to conduct sampling, in-situ analysis and possibly return samples to Earth for further tests. Missions to Mars are the more near term projects that are seeking such capabilities. One of the major limitations of sampling on Mars and other low gravity environments is the need for high axial force when using conventional drilling. To address this limitation an ultrasonic/sonic drilling/coring (USDC) mechanism has been developed that employs an ultrasonic horn driven by a piezoelectric stack. The horn drives a free mass that resonates between the horn and drill stem. Tests have shown that the USDC addresses some of the key challenges to the NASA sampling objectives. The USDC is lightweight (450 g), requires low preload (< 5N) and can be driven at lower power (5W). The device has been shown to drill rocks with various levels of hardness including granite, diorite, basalt and limestone. The hammering action involved with the coring process can produce cores of various shapes, which need not necessarily be round. Because it is driven by piezoelectric ceramics, the USDC is highly tolerant to changes in its operating environment. These actuation materials can be designed to operate at a wide range of temperatures including those expected on Mars and Venus. Although the drill is driven electrically at 20 kHz, a substantial sub-harmonic acoustic component is found that is crucial to drilling performance. An analytical model has been developed to explain this low frequency coupling in the horn, free mass, drill stem and rock.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 August 2001
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4327, Smart Structures and Materials 2001: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems, (16 August 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.436556
Show Author Affiliations
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Stewart Sherrit, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Benjamin P. Dolgin, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Xiaoqi Bao, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Zensheu Chang, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Dharmendra Sign Pal, Cybersonics, Inc. (United States)
Ron Krahe, Cybersonics, Inc. (United States)
Jason Kroh, Cybersonics, Inc. (United States)
Shu Du, Cybersonics, Inc. (United States)
Thomas Peterson, Cybersonics, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4327:
Smart Structures and Materials 2001: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems
L. Porter Davis, Editor(s)

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