Mars Science Laboratory DrillThe Drill for the Mars Science Laboratory mission is a rotary-percussive sample acquisition device with an emphasis on toughness and robustness to handle the harsh environment on Mars. The unique challenges associated with autonomous drilling from a mobile robot are addressed. A highly compressed development schedule dictated a modular design architecture that satisfies the functional and load requirements while allowing independent development and testing of the Drill subassemblies. The Drill consists of four actuated mechanisms: a spindle that rotates the bit, a chuck that releases and engages bits, a novel voice-coil-based percussion mechanism that hammers the bit, and a linear translation mechanism. The Drill has three passive mechanisms: a replaceable bit assembly that acquires and collects sample, a contact sensor / stabilizer mechanism, and, lastly a flex harness service loop. This paper describes the various mechanisms that makeup the Drill and discusses the solutions to their unique design and development challenges.
Okon, Avi B. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
August 29, 2013
May 12, 2010
Publication: Proceedings of the 40th Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium