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Proceedings Paper

Deep drilling and sampling via the wireline auto-gopher driven by piezoelectric percussive actuator and EM rotary motor
Author(s): Yoseph Bar-Cohen; Mircea Badescu; Stewart Sherrit; Kris Zacny; Gale L. Paulsen; Luther Beegle; Xiaoqi Bao
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Paper Abstract

The ability to penetrate subsurfaces and perform sample acquisition at depths of meters is critical for future NASA in-situ exploration missions to bodies in the solar system, including Mars, Europa, and Enceladus. A corer/sampler was developed with the goal of acquiring pristine samples by reaching depths on Mars beyond the oxidized and sterilized zone. The developed rotary-hammering coring drill, called Auto-Gopher, employs a piezoelectric actuated percussive mechanism for breaking formations and an electric motor rotates the bit to remove the powdered cuttings. This sampler is a wireline drill that is incorporated with an inchworm mechanism allowing thru cyclic coring and core removal to reach great depths. The penetration rate is optimized by simultaneously activating the percussive and rotary motions of the Auto-Gopher. The percussive mechanism is based on the Ultrasonic/Sonic Drill/Corer (USDC) mechanism, which is driven by a piezoelectric stack, demonstrated to require low axial preload. The Auto-Gopher has been produced taking into account the lessons learned from the development of the Ultrasonic/Sonic Gopher that was designed as a percussive ice drill and was demonstrated in Antarctica in 2005 to reach about 2 meters deep. A field demonstration of the Auto-Gopher is currently being planned with the objective of reaching as deep as 3 to 5 meters in tufa formation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 April 2012
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8345, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2012, 83452A (3 April 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.914257
Show Author Affiliations
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Mircea Badescu, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Stewart Sherrit, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Kris Zacny, Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corp. (United States)
Gale L. Paulsen, Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corp. (United States)
Luther Beegle, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Xiaoqi Bao, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8345:
Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2012
Masayoshi Tomizuka; Chung-Bang Yun; Jerome P. Lynch, Editor(s)

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