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Proceedings Paper

Single piezo-actuator rotary-hammering (SPaRH) drill
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Paper Abstract

The search for present or past life in the Universe is one of the most important objectives of NASA's exploration missions. Drills for subsurface sampling of rocks, ice and permafrost are an essential tool for astrobiology studies on other planets. Increasingly, it is recognized that drilling via a combination of rotation and hammering offers an efficient and effective rapid penetration mechanism. The rotation provides an intrinsic method for removal of cuttings from the borehole while the impact and shear forces aid in the fracturing of the penetrated medium. Conventional drills that use a single actuator are based on a complex mechanism with many parts and their use in future mission involves greater risk of failure and/or may require lubrication that can introduce contamination. In this paper, a compact drill is reported that uses a single piezoelectric actuator to produce hammering and rotation of the bit. A horn with asymmetric grooves was designed to impart a longitudinal (hammering) and transverse force (rotation) to a keyed free mass. The drill requires low axial pre-load since the hammering-impacts fracture the rock under the bit kerf and rotate the bit to remove the powdered cuttings while augmenting the rock fracture via shear forces. The vibrations 'fluidize' the powdered cuttings inside the flutes reducing the friction with the auger surface. This action reduces the consumed power and heating of the drilled medium helping to preserve the pristine content of the acquired samples. The drill consists of an actuator that simultaneously impacts and rotates the bit by applying force and torque via a single piezoelectric stack actuator without the need for a gearbox or lever mechanism. This can reduce the development/fabrication cost and complexity. In this paper, the drill mechanism will be described and the test results will be reported and discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 April 2012
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8345, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2012, 83452B (3 April 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.915379
Show Author Affiliations
Stewart Sherrit, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Lukas Domm, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Xiaoqi Bao, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Zensheu Chang, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Mircea Badescu, 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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