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Proceedings Paper

Self-contained harpoon and sample handling device for a remote platform
Author(s): Mircea Badescu; Stewart Sherrit; Jack Jones; Jeffery Hall
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Paper Abstract

A key objective of the NASA exploration missions is to explore the Solar System and beyond in an implementation that is safe, sustainable and affordable. One of the major enabling technologies for meeting this objective is the development of effective autonomous sampling systems for robotic in-situ analysis and scientific experiments for life and water detection as well as the potential to conduct materials characterization and mineralogy. Rapid sampling techniques with minimum deterioration of the sample and the potential to capture volatiles have long been an objective of the planetary science community. Tethered penetrator sampling whether the penetrator is driven by gravity [Jones et al. 2006], chemical means [Jones et al. 2006], mechanical springs [Backes et al. 2008] or air guns [Lorenz and Shandera 2000] has the potential to meet this objective. In this paper we present the development of a tethered harpoon sampling and sample handling system operated from an aerial platform for in-situ astrobiological investigations. The harpoon system can be driven into the sample using gravity, pyro, spring or compressed gas mechanisms and is retrieved using a spooling mechanism. The system description and preliminary test results are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 March 2009
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7292, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2009, 72921I (30 March 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.815394
Show Author Affiliations
Mircea Badescu, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Stewart Sherrit, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Jack Jones, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Jeffery Hall, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7292:
Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2009
Masayoshi Tomizuka, Editor(s)

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