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To extract the full science potential from planetary surface operations, robots must be able to access the entire surface of the planetary body, not just the relatively level areas. Buoyed by the success of top-to-bottom strategies employing tethered robots, the stage is set for bottom-to-top technologies and techniques to be investigated. To this end, we(More)
Simulation and analytical models for the ultrasonic/sonic drill/corer (USDC) are described in this paper. The USDC was developed as a tool for in-situ rock sampling and analysis in support of the NASA planetary exploration program. The USDC uses a novel drive mechanism, which transfers ultrasonic vibrations of a piezoelectric actuator into larger(More)
In-situ sampling and analysis are important capabilities to allow meeting the major objectives of future NASA's planetary exploration missions. The development of an ultrasonic device that can serve as a probe, sampler and sensors platform for in-situ analysis is currently underway at JPL. The device is based on the novel Ultrasonic/Sonic Driller/Corer(More)
Ionomeric Polymer-Metal Composites (IPMC) are attractive type of electroactive polymer actuation materials because of their characteristics of large electrically induced bending, mechanical flexibility, low excitation voltage, low density, and ease of fabrication. The diffusion of ions between the electrodes causes the material to bend. The unique features(More)
Efficient miniature actuators that are compact and consume low power are needed to drive space and planetary mechanisms in future NASA missions. Ultrasonic rotary motors have the potential to meet this NASA need and they are developed as actuators for miniature telerobotic applications. These motors have emerged in commercial products but they need to be(More)
—Future NASA exploration missions to Mars, Europa, Titan, comets, and asteroids will perform sampling, in-situ analysis and possibly the return of material to Earth for further tests. One of the major limitations of sampling in low gravity environments is that conventional drills need high axial force. An ultrasonic/sonic driller/corer (USDC) mechanism was(More)
IPMC is an electroactive polymer (EAP) that has been the subject of research and development since 1992. The advantages of IPMC in requiring low activation voltage and the induced large bending strain led to its consideration for various potential applications. However, before the benefits of IPMC can be effectively exploited for practical use, the(More)
There are numerous engineering design problems where the use of wires to transfer power and communicate data thru the walls of a structure is prohibitive or significantly difficult that it may require a complex design. Such systems may be concerned with the leakage of chemicals or gasses, loss of pressure or vacuum, as well as difficulties in providing(More)
Future NASA's missions include the search for past and existing life in the Universe and evidence on how the planets in the Solar system formed and evolved. In order to fulfill these goals sampling systems that meet the stringent requirements of the various environments are required to be developed. To support these objectives an ultrasonic/sonic(More)
The current NASA Decadal mission planning effort has identified Venus as a significant scientific target for a surface in-situ sampling mission. The Venus environment represents several extremes including high temperature (460 o C), high pressure (~9 MPa.), and potentially corrosive (condensed sulfuric acid droplets that adhere to surfaces during entry)(More)