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Mars Exploration Rovers' Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) and a 45 mm diameter and few millimeter-deep RATed hole. Credit: NASA. Color images available online at www.liebertonline.com/ast 

Mars Exploration Rovers' Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) and a 45 mm diameter and few millimeter-deep RATed hole. Credit: NASA. Color images available online at www.liebertonline.com/ast 

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Article
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Abstract The future exploration of Mars will require access to the subsurface, along with acquisition of samples for scientific analysis and ground-truthing of water ice and mineral reserves for in situ resource utilization. The Icebreaker drill is an integral part of the Icebreaker mission concept to search for life in ice-rich regions on Mars. Si...

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... the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) deployed on MER Spirit and Opportunity is not technically an excavator but a grinder, it is nevertheless a tool that has successfully pene- trated dozens of martian rocks ( Gorevan et al., 2003). The primary goal of the 680 g 10 W RAT shown in Fig. 3 was to grind away a 45 mm diameter and a few millimeter-deep hole and expose the virgin rock to arm-mounted instruments such as the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS), Mö ssbauer Spectrometer, and Microscopic Imager (MI). Removing the first few millimeters was imperative to the success of the missions, since martian rocks are ...
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... measure the resistance of the cuttings during drilling, two electrical prongs can be embedded inside the bit in such a way as to protrude slightly below the bit shank as shown in Fig. 12 (note that the drill in Fig. 12 is an old prototype bit and is not used in the Icebreaker system). Figure 13 shows the temperature and resistance of clayey regolith during a drilling test. The resistance at a bit temperature of -5°C, A diamond-impregnated drill bit with two elec- trodes sticking out. ...
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... drill followed the bite sampling routine. Figure 33 shows drilling telemetry in ice-cemented ground when the bite approach was implemented; that is, the drill was pulled out of the hole every 10 cm to deposit the sample and clean the auger flutes. The depth of 1 m in ice-cemented ground was reached in 50 min, and the average penetration rate was 1.2 m/hr. ...
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... frequent sample and auger retrieval out of the ground allowed both the auger and the formation to cool down. Figure 34 shows the Icebreaker drill telemetry from drill- ing a hole approximately 50 cm from the hole reported in Fig. 33. The main difference is that, in the current test, the drill continuously drilled to 800 mm depth, while previously it followed the bite sampling routine. ...
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... worked satisfactorily (the routine changes drilling pa- rameters to maintain drill bit temperature at or below 0°C). The frequent sample and auger retrieval out of the ground allowed both the auger and the formation to cool down. Figure 34 shows the Icebreaker drill telemetry from drill- ing a hole approximately 50 cm from the hole reported in Fig. 33. The main difference is that, in the current test, the drill continuously drilled to 800 mm depth, while previously it followed the bite sampling routine. As before, it can be seen that the depth to ground ice is approximately 223 mm; up to this depth, the power was very low, of the order of 20 W, while penetration rate was in excess ...
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... As the hole got deeper, the distance cuttings needed to travel to the surface got progres- sively longer, and in turn the auger frictional drag increased. It is worth pointing out that during the duration of the test, the temperature subroutine was successful in keeping the bit temperature at or below freezing. The two drill tests, as shown in Figs. 33 and 34, demonstrated that when using a bite rou- tine, drilling power is lower, penetration rate is faster, and bit temperature is lower than when drilling a continuous hole. Figure 35 shows the drilling telemetry in massive ice to a depth of 2.5 m. During this test, initially a bite routine was implemented to a depth of 1 m followed by ...
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... and 34, demonstrated that when using a bite rou- tine, drilling power is lower, penetration rate is faster, and bit temperature is lower than when drilling a continuous hole. Figure 35 shows the drilling telemetry in massive ice to a depth of 2.5 m. During this test, initially a bite routine was implemented to a depth of 1 m followed by continuous dril- ling. ...
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... 2.5 m. During this test, initially a bite routine was implemented to a depth of 1 m followed by continuous dril- ling. Every zigzag on the temperature curve corresponds to the drill pull-out event to empty the cuttings. Drilling telemetry to 1 m depth with the bite routine was quite uniform. However, past 1 m depth, the telemetry mirrors that in Fig. 34; that is, the power would increase while penetration rate ...
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... also shielded by a drill plat- form from direct solar radiation. cuttings acquired by drilling into the ice-cemented ground. It can be seen that these cuttings do not stick but rather fall as if they were dry granular media (particles). The same was observed with ice cuttings, which did not stick and also preserved large ice chunks as shown in Fig. 36 (right). This observation is of paramount importance to the Icebreaker mission, as it shows that it is possible for icy cuttings not to stick. The major factor is keeping the cuttings temperature low during the drilling operation by implementing suitable drilling protocols and by shielding them from direct sunlight once on the surface. From an ...
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... . The second generation, the Icebreaker drill, has been thoroughly tested in vacuum chambers and in the Arctic and Antarctica, and demonstrated drilling at 1-1-100-100 level; that is, 1 m in 1 hour with 100 W and 100 N WOB ). To reduce the development cost, the drill was not mass-opti- mized and weighed over 40 kg. The Icebreaker2 drill shown in Fig. 37, which is almost as powerful as Icebreaker (*400 W vs. 300 W), has a slightly lower percussive energy (2 J/ blow vs. 2.5 J/blow) but weighs only 10 kg ( Zacny et al., 2013c). The drill has been mass-optimized to reflect a ''flightlike'' design. The drill has already been deployed in Greenland and Devon Island (Canadian High Arctic) in ...
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... drill will also be extensively tested in the Mars environmental chamber. Figure 37 also shows the mock-up lander, which is slightly larger than the size of the 2007 Mars Phoenix and 2016 Mars InSight mission landers. ...

Citations

... Although contamination control technologies for planetary protection are established for uncrewed missions, scientists are exploring technologies for crewed missions where microbial mitigation have increased complexity levels due to risk of recontamination by human contact [1,2]. Furthermore, existing technologies approved by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Cooperation for Space Standardization (ECSS) for uncrewed missionsdry heat microbial reduction (DHMR) and vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP) bio decontamination, have certain drawbacks [3][4][5][6][7]. The ECSS reported that DHMR can damage heat sensitive materials while VHP can cause detrimental material alteration [6,7]. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper presents a proof-of-concept study establishing effectiveness of the Active Plasma Sterilizer (APS) for sterilization in planetary protection. The APS uses Compact Portable Plasma Reactors (CPPRs) to produce surface dielectric barrier discharge, a type of cold plasma, using ambient air to generate and distribute reactive species like ozone used for decontamination. Sterilization tests were performed with pathogenic bacteria (Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis) on materials (Aluminum, Polycarbonate, Kevlar and Orthofabric) relevant to space missions. Results show that the APS can achieve 4 to 5 log reductions of pathogenic bacteria on four selected materials, simultaneously at 11 points within 30 minutes, using power of 13.2 +/- 2.22 W. Spatial sterilization data shows the APS can uniformly sterilize several areas of a contaminated surface within 30 minutes. Ozone penetration through Kevlar and Orthofabric layers was achieved using the CPPR with no external agent assisting penetration. Preliminary material compatibility tests with SEM analysis of the APS exposed materials showed no significant material damage. Thus, this study shows the potential of the APS as a light-weight sustainable sterilization technology for planetary protection with advantages of uniform spatial decontamination, low processing temperatures, low exposure times, material compatibility and the ability to disinfect porous surfaces.
... Although contamination control technologies for planetary protection are established for uncrewed missions, scientists are exploring technologies for crewed missions where microbial mitigation have increased complexity levels due to risk of recontamination by human contact [1,2]. Furthermore, existing technologies approved by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Cooperation for Space Standardization (ECSS) for uncrewed missionsdry heat microbial reduction (DHMR) and vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP) bio decontamination, have certain drawbacks [3][4][5][6][7]. The ECSS reported that DHMR can damage heat sensitive materials while VHP can cause detrimental material alteration [6,7]. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper presents a proof-of-concept study establishing effectiveness of the Active Plasma Sterilizer (APS) for sterilization in planetary protection. The APS uses Compact Portable Plasma Reactors (CPPRs) to produce surface dielectric barrier discharge, a type of cold plasma, using ambient air to generate and distribute reactive species like ozone used for decontamination. Sterilization tests were performed with pathogenic bacteria (Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis) on materials (Aluminum, Polycarbonate, Kevlar and Orthofabric) relevant to space missions. Results show that the APS can achieve 4 to 5 log reductions of pathogenic bacteria on four selected materials, simultaneously at 11 points within 30 minutes, using power of 13.2 +/- 2.22 W. Spatial sterilization data shows the APS can uniformly sterilize several areas of a contaminated surface within 30 minutes. Ozone penetration through Kevlar and Orthofabric layers was achieved using the CPPR with no external agent assisting penetration. Preliminary material compatibility tests with SEM analysis of the APS exposed materials showed no significant material damage. Thus, this study shows the potential of the APS as a lightweight sustainable sterilization technology for planetary protection with advantages of uniform spatial decontamination, low processing temperatures, low exposure times, material compatibility and the ability to disinfect porous surfaces.
... A single hollow auger tube is used for rotary impact drilling, and the bottom of the drill tube has a deep groove with a length of 20 cm, which can collect chips as a sample. About 40 cm 3 of samples can be obtained in one drilling, and it can be drilled to a depth of 1 m in about 1 hour (Glass et al. 2014;Zacny et al. 2011aZacny et al. , 2013b. At the same time, to get deeper samples of Mars, Honeybee Robotics has also developed the Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE) drilling system (Fig. 20c). ...
Article
Full-text available
Sampling soil or rocks from extraterrestrial celestial bodies is the essential step to detecting the existence of water and life in celestial bodies, it is also an important channel to obtain scientific information about the evolution of the solar system and the origin of the universe. To date, a large number of sampling devices have been designed and developed for sampling exploration of extraterrestrial celestial bodies. However, the sampling devices are versatile, and the employed working principle and sampling methods vary in different exploration missions and celestial bodies’ environments. The present work focuses on the exploration history, celestial bodies’ environment, and sampling devices of extraterrestrial celestial bodies (mainly the Moon, Mars, and small celestial bodies), and provides a systematic review. First, the exploration history and future exploration plans of extraterrestrial celestial bodies are reviewed, which outlines the features of the exploration methods and sampling devices. In the overview of the exploration history, it is found that the failure of sampling exploration is mainly due to the unknown of the celestial bodies’ environment. Therefore, the surface environment and geology of extraterrestrial celestial bodies are further summarized, and whereby the influence of the environment on sampling device design and performance in the exploration process is analyzed. Then a focused analysis of the sampling devices that have been used in previous exploration missions and recent advances has been conducted, which provides a comprehensive description of their exploration goals, operating principles, and properties. This work summarizes the current sampling methods into nine types: excavating, drilling, grinding, grabbing, projecting, penetrating, wire-line coring, ultrasonic-assisted coring, and pneumatic, for which their advantages, disadvantages, and scope of application are analyzed. Finally, the limitations and challenges faced by extraterrestrial bodies’ sampling exploration are discussed, with prospects for future sampling exploration techniques, which can provide a reference for the subsequent in-depth development of extraterrestrial celestial bodies’ sampling devices.
... No choking events were observed. To put this performance into context, a benchmark performance for planetary drill systems is the 1-1-100-100 level, that is, 1m depth achieved in 1 hour, with 100 N weight-on-bit and 100 W of power [20]. The depth, speed, and weight-on-bit metrics are approximately on-target, pro-rata, in this proof-of-concept experiment. ...
Article
Full-text available
Granular materials include fuels, foods, feedstocks, and raw materials, and they are frequently created in drilling, exploration, and comminution. However, despite this ubiquity, they can be much more difficult to transport than other materials. Screw conveyors can be used, as can bailing, gas-blowing, and vibro-conveyors, but all have issues related to some combination of complexity, inclination, differential friction, and torque reaction. We propose an entirely new concept: a combination of the vibro-conveyor and the Tesla valve. This ‘pulse-elevator’ is a single piece of inert material, it can operate vertically, it does not depend upon frictional interactions, and it is effectively torqueless. This paper describes the mechanism in analytical, numerical, and experimental terms, and then illustrates two successful experimental use cases: powder uplift from a hopper, and the replacement of augering in a rock-drilling application. These cases are particularly relevant for the facilitation of ISRU and subsurface exploration in space.
... This is done by providing an alternate path for cuttings and fallback material out of the hole. This method was developed with the sole purpose of sampling research and this can be done only if the fallback material is periodically thrown out of the hole [26]. This device is ideal for capturing the fallout material for research [26]. ...
... This method was developed with the sole purpose of sampling research and this can be done only if the fallback material is periodically thrown out of the hole [26]. This device is ideal for capturing the fallout material for research [26]. ...
Article
This paper reviews and presents a trade-off study between three new concepts to study the presence of water on the Moon. The concepts are all different concerning the method of application. The first concept confirms the presence of water on the Moon through a comparative ratio study of water formation by hydrogen bombardment at varying intensity. The second concept studied is the Moon Orbiter which confirms the presence of water by studying the spectrum of radio waves from faraway stars over the permanently shadowed regions of the Moon. The third concept is the close site study in which the presence of water is confirmed by heating the surface of the Moon with the help of a reflector array. A trade-off study is conducted between various factors for example feasibility, application location of the experiment on the surface of the Moon, cost-effectiveness, and timeline. These are the basic factors that the concepts are studied on, but the trade-off between other critical factors is also done to select and present the best as well as a feasible method to check the presence of water on the surface of the Moon. Study is conducted to set a base level for standardizations for all future space missions to be conducted in this or any other domain. The efficiency of the mission can be studied through the projections and metrics carried out in this paper.
... The prototype Venus drill was designed and fabricated by Honeybee Robotics (Figs. 3 and 4). It leveraged twelve years of drill and Venus actuator technology development at the company (Zacny et al., 2011(Zacny et al., , 2013Kumar and Bar-Cohen, 2014). A rotary-percussive design was used to increase penetration rate and reduce drill walk biases. ...
Article
JPL and Honeybee Robotics have designed, built and successfully tested a fast end-to-end sample acquisition and transfer system for the Venusian surface. This full scale prototype system uses a rotary-percussive drill designed to penetrate to a 5 cm depth in saddleback basalt in 15 min under full Venus surface conditions of 470 °C and 92 bar pressure and supercritical CO2 atmosphere. The drill features a hollow bit that collects particulate samples created during the drilling process. Sample transfer from drill to lander is done pneumatically using the motive force provided by the high pressure Venus atmosphere to entrain the particles in a high density flow. A cyclone particle separator removes the particles from the flow inside the lander and deposits them into an airlock, while the gas itself flows into a low pressure dump tank. Two samples are provided from the drill, one near the surface and one at 5 cm depth. Cross contamination between the near surface and at depth samples is minimized by collecting, but not analyzing, a third sample in between the two primary samples. The airlock is designed to depressurize and cool the particulate samples and then present them to science instruments for composition analysis. The entire drilling and sample transfer process completes in 30 min, thereby allowing it to support almost any kind of future short duration Venus lander mission. Results are presented for the first end-to-end drilling and sample transfer experiment conducted in a new specialized test chamber that replicates Venus surface conditions.
... This type of drill will break the ice and retrieve ice samples without changing or altering their composition. Once the ice has been retrieved, it will be deposited in the special cooling system inside the rover [8][9] . The cooler is located on the left side of the rover, and its dimension is 45cm × 30cm × 30cm. ...
Conference Paper
View Video Presentation: https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2021-4201.vid The first objective of this rover is to explore the ice caps of the Moon and Mars to extract samples of ice, study natural building materials for habitation, and serve as an exploratory vehicle. The design objectives of this rover should allow it to collect samples for further examinations, provide housing for other robots/drones, serve as a passenger vehicle, and return to Earth. ULLR’s body is bio-inspired by the ladybug insect. Just as this tiny bug can contribute greatly to our ecosystem, ULLR will be able to help in furthering scientific knowledge and contribute to the exploration of other celestial bodies. This rover will be constructed using six “legs” and two arms, one of which will have a “hand” designed to perform delicate actions, such as collecting samples. Additionally, it will have a retractable instrument cluster of cameras with a 360-degree view for navigation. The ULLR will be a reusable rover for multiple Lunar and Martian missions and will be designed to utilize nuclear and CO2-based energy sources for a long operational duration. The navigation system will consist of multiple optical and thermal cameras capable of full 360-degree views, stereoscope, and ultrasound sensors. The navigation system will also rely on satellite communication and will be equipped with a large receiver for communication from satellites, as well as two transmitters to send information back.
... (E to H) Typical drilling PRSs to cope with different conditions. (E) Robotic arm carried portable IceBreaker Drill with high sampling flexibility and a suitable depth [74]. (F) Auto-Gopher Drill to reach a great drilling depth [75]. ...
... Their researchers and engineers proposed various innovative planetary regolith-sampling methods, and developed numerous remarkable prototypes. For example, a team from NASA and Honeybee Robotics has been researching the Icebreaker Drill since 2007, intending to drill regolith samples near the Martian polar latitude first visited by the Phoenix lander [74,141,142]. Based on Icebreaker, another Lunar Prospecting Drill was proposed to capture and evaluate the volatile species within the top T. Zhang et al. [152,153], Sample Acquisition, Processing, and Handling System by NORCAT [154], and some prototypes focusing on the asteroid sample return [100,125,155,156]. ...
Article
Regolith penetration for placing instruments into ground and regolith-sampling for re-entry or in-situ analysis play an extremely critical role in searching for alien life and revealing the geological information of extraterrestrial bodies. The planetary regolith sampler (PRS), a type of device that can penetrate, collect, transfer, and stow regolith samples, is commonly equipped on a lander or rover in planetary exploration, and is regarded as essential to broaden the application scenarios of planetary robots. Because of their extensive application prospects in deep space exploration, scientists and engineers worldwide have shown great interest in the design and development of such multifunctional devices. However, owing to the significant environmental differences among extraterrestrial bodies, it is challenging to create a full-featured PRS. To date, a large number of PRSs have been designed and developed for terrestrial scientific research or extraterrestrial regolith exploration. The PRSs utilized in previous extraterrestrial regolith-sampling missions and the latest advancements are reviewed in detail. Next, this work classifies the current PRSs into six categories according their sampling methods, namely drilling, excavating/grabbing, projecting, ultrasonic/sonic, pneumatic, and bio-inspired samplers, and summarizes their general characteristics. The challenges and constraints in sampling extraterrestrial bodies, including terrestrial technology, planetary environment, and remote distance, are analyzed and discussed in depth. The critical technologies for PRSs to change from a conceptual stage to a practical prototype are detailed, including design and fabrication, tool–regolith interaction, terrestrial validation, autonomous control, and sample fidelity. Finally, the critical trends of PRS are presented, covering near-term robotic exploration to cover the full geography to long-term human settlements.
... After analyzing the previously proposed concepts of asteroid exploration and mining [10][11][12]19], defining the main stages of the mission shown in Fig. 1 and determining the most appropriate way to extract water [13][14][15][16], we must be sure that a universal space platform equipped with a water electrolysis-based propulsion system and a device to extract water ice from an asteroid surface can fully accomplish its mission while avoiding increasing mission complexity and cost. For this purpose, let's define the top-level requirements, functions, and operations that a universal space platform should perform, based on [17]. ...
... This makes it difficult to determine the required amount of water returned per asteroid run at a given operating cost. The value used for calculations in past projects is at least 100 kg [19], this amount can be obtained if the asteroid has a diameter of at least 3 m [4], • R3. The spacecraft must be capable of refueling with extracted water and use a water-electrolysis propulsion system: The spacecraft must be capable of selfreplenishment to ensure stable operation and reduce possible losses due to lack of fuel. ...
... The power at which it operates could easily be changed. The electrolysis propulsion system described above allows for pulsed and continuous maneuvers and can achieve a specific pulse of up to 450 s for a chemical engine and 3200 s for a Hall engine [22], which far exceeds steam thrust by over 200 s inefficiency, another pulse water propulsion concept [19]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The article presents the concept of a universal space platform with a propulsion system based on water electrolysis. The spacecraft based on the platform is used for an asteroid research mission. The mission task is to extract water from the target asteroid and refuel the spacecraft. The requirements for such a performance of a universal space platform are proposed. The advantages and disadvantages of using such propulsion systems in small spacecraft are highlighted.
... Specifically, Zacny, Chu et al (2012) found that a rotary-percussive drill was best at penetrating saturated frozen regolith simulant and basalt layers of up to 120 MPa compressive strength while keeping weight on bit to <50N. Zacny, Chu et al, (2012) and Zacny, Paulsen et al (2013) have also tested relevant prototypes in Mars analog environments such as Antarctica. Hole collapse, downhole accumulation of pebbles and downhole refreezing of liquid water were identified as risks by Zacny, Paulsen et al (2013). ...
... Zacny, Chu et al, (2012) and Zacny, Paulsen et al (2013) have also tested relevant prototypes in Mars analog environments such as Antarctica. Hole collapse, downhole accumulation of pebbles and downhole refreezing of liquid water were identified as risks by Zacny, Paulsen et al (2013). ...