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Title: Single Piezo-Actuator Rotary-Hammering (SPaRH) drill
Authors: Sherrit, Stewart
Domm, Lukas
Bao, Xiaoqi
Bar-Cohen, Yoseph
Chang, Zensheu
Badescu, Mircea
Keywords: Piezoelectric drills
piezoelectric horn transducers
asymmetric groves structures
rotary motion
ultrasonic impacts
Ultrasonic/Sonic Driller/Corer (USDC)
Issue Date: 11-Mar-2012
Publisher: Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2012.
Citation: SPIE Smart Structures and Materials/NDE Symposium, San Diego, California, March 10-14, 2012
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 aids 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 groves was design 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.
Appears in Collections:JPL TRS 1992+

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