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Drilling Automation Demonstrations in Subsurface Exploration for AstrobiologyThis project proposes to study subsurface permafrost microbial habitats at a relevant Arctic Mars-analog site (Haughton Crater, Devon Island, Canada) while developing and maturing the subsurface drilling and drilling automation technologies that will be required by post-2010 missions. It builds on earlier drilling technology projects to add permafrost and ice-drilling capabilities to 5m with a lightweight drill that will be automatically monitored and controlled in-situ. Frozen cores obtained with this drill under sterilized protocols will be used in testing three hypotheses pertaining to near-surface physical geology and ground H2O ice distribution, viewed as a habitat for microbial life in subsurface ice and ice-consolidated sediments. Automation technologies employed will demonstrate hands-off diagnostics and drill control, using novel vibrational dynamical analysis methods and model-based reasoning to monitor and identify drilling fault states before and during faults. Three field deployments, to a Mars-analog site with frozen impact crater fallback breccia, will support science goals, provide a rigorous test of drilling automation and lightweight permafrost drilling, and leverage past experience with the field site s particular logistics.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Glass, Brian (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Cannon, H. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Lee, P. (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Inst. Mountain View, CA, United States)
Hanagud, S. (Georgia Inst. of Tech. Atlanta, GA, United States)
Davis, K. (Honeybee Robotics Ltd. New York, NY, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2006
Subject Category
Meeting Information
Astrobiology Science Conference(Washington, DC)
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