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Proceedings Paper

Miniature piezoelectric shaker mechanism for autonomous distribution of unconsolidated sample to instrument cells
Author(s): Stewart Sherrit; Kent Frankovich; Xiaoqi Bao; Curtis Tucker
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Paper Abstract

To perform in-situ measurements on Mars or other planetary bodies many instruments require powder produced using some sampling technique (drilling/coring) or sample processing technique (core crushing) to be placed in measurement cells. This usually requires filling a small sample cell using an inlet funnel. In order to minimize cross contamination with future samples and ensure the sample is transferred from the funnel to the test cell with minimal residual powder the funnel is shaken. The shaking assists gravity by fluidizing the powder and restoring flow of the material. In order to counter cross contamination or potential clogging due to settling during autonomous handling a piezoelectric shaking mechanism was designed for the deposition of sample fines in instrument inlet funnels. This device was designed to be lightweight, consume low power and demonstrated to be a resilient solid state actuator that can be mechanically and electrically tuned to shake the inlet funnel. In the final design configuration tested under nominal Mars Ambient conditions the funnel mechanism is driven by three symmetrically mounted piezoelectric flexure actuators that are out of the funnel support load path. The frequency of the actuation can be electrically controlled and monitored and mechanically tuned by the addition of tuning mass on the free end of the actuator. Unlike conventional electromagnetic motors these devices are solid state and can be designed with no macroscopically moving parts. This paper will discuss the design and testing results of these shaking mechanisms.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 March 2009
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7290, Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2009, 72900H (31 March 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.815201
Show Author Affiliations
Stewart Sherrit, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Kent Frankovich, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Xiaoqi Bao, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Curtis Tucker, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7290:
Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2009
Benjamin K. Henderson; M. Brett McMickell, Editor(s)

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