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Title: Drilling, coring and sampling using piezoelectric actuated mechanisms : From the USDC to a piezo-rotary-hammer drill
Authors: Bar-Cohen, Yoseph
Sherrit, Stewart
Badescu, Mircea
Bao, Xiaoqi
Keywords: sampling
ultrasonic/Sonic Driller/ Corer (USDC)
subsurface exploration
extreme temperature drilling
Issue Date: 16-Apr-2012
Publisher: Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2012.
Citation: 2012 Earth and Space Conference : Symposium 2: Exploration and Utilization of Extraterrestrial Bodies, Pasadena, California, April 15-18, 2012
Abstract: NASA exploration missions are increasingly including sampling tasks but with the growth in engineering experience (particularly, Phoenix Scout and MSL) it is now very much recognized that planetary drilling poses many challenges. The difficulties grow significantly with the hardness of sampled material, the depth of drilling and the harshness of the environmental conditions. To address the requirements for samplers that could be operated at the conditions of the various bodies in the solar system, a number of piezoelectric actuated drills and corers were developed by the Advanced Technologies Group of JPL. The basic configuration that was conceived in 1998 is known as the Ultrasonic/Sonic Driller/Corer (USDC), and it operates as a percussive mechanism. This drill requires as low preload as 10N (important for operation at low gravity) allowing to operate with as low-mass device as 400g, use an average power as low as 2- 3W and drill rocks as hard as basalt. A key feature of this drilling mechanism is the use of a free-mass to convert the ultrasonic vibrations generated by piezoelectric stack to sonic impacts on the bit. Using the versatile capabilities f the USDC led to the development of many configurations and device sizes. Significant improvement of the penetration rate was achieved by augmenting the hammering action by rotation and use of a fluted bit to remove cuttings. To reach meters deep in ice a wireline drill was developed called the Ultrasonic/Sonic Gopher and it was demonstrated in 2005 to penetrate about 2-m deep at Antarctica. Jointly with Honeybee Robotics, this mechanism is currently being modified to incorporate rotation and inchworm operation forming Auto-Gopher to reach meters deep in rocks. To take advantage of the ability of piezoelectric actuators to operate over a wide temperatures range, piezoelectric actuated drills were developed and demonstrated to operate at as cold as -200oC and as hot as 500oC. In this paper, the developed mechanisms will be reviewed and discussed including the configurations, capabilities, and challenges.
Appears in Collections:JPL TRS 1992+

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