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Pneumatic Sampling in Extreme Terrain with the Axel Rover

Huang, Yifei (2012) Pneumatic Sampling in Extreme Terrain with the Axel Rover. . (Unpublished)

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Some of the most interesting regions of study in our solar system lie inside craters, canyons, and cryovolcanoes, but current state-of-the-art rovers are incapable of accessing and traversing these regions. Axel is a minimalistic rover designed for extreme terrains, and two Axels with a central mother system form a four-wheeled rover to efficiently traverse flat ground. Upon approaching the edge of a crater, Axel detaches from the mother system and travels down the cliff guided by the unwinding tether. However, scientific study of extraplanetary terrains requires instrumentation inside the Axel rover. We aim to develop a simple and reliable sample acquisition and caching system that could retrieve multiple samples from various sites before returning them to the mother system where more sophisticated instruments could perform further analysis. For simplicity and robustness, we propose a pneumatic sampling system which uses compressed air, guided with a nozzle, to blow soil into a sample canister. Numerous types of nozzles were designed, built, and tested. Different designs for nozzle deployment, sample caching, and pressure containment were considered. Finally, a prototype of the entire sampling system was built and evaluated for performance and feasibility.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Technical Report)
Additional Information:I am very grateful to the Keck Institute of Space Studies and the Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program for funding this project. Special acknowledgement goes to Mr. Richard Cox for donating to the Frank W. Wood SURF fund, which directly contributed to this project. Furthermore, I would like to thank my main mentors for the summer: Melissa Tanner and Professor Joel Burdick. There were many other people that guided me through the design and testing process: the JPL Axel team, Kris Zacny from Honeybee Robotics, Paul Baukes and Paulo Younse from JPL, Professor Bethany Elhmann and Professor Melany Hunt.
Group:Keck Institute for Space Studies
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS)UNSPECIFIED
Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)UNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160226-144832522
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:64816
Deposited By: Colette Connor
Deposited On:09 Mar 2016 20:46
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 09:41

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