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Mars Science Laboratory Sample Acquisition, Sample Processing and Handling: Subsystem Design and Test ChallengesThe Sample Acquisition/Sample Processing and Handling subsystem for the Mars Science Laboratory is a highly-mechanized, Rover-based sampling system that acquires powdered rock and regolith samples from the Martian surface, sorts the samples into fine particles through sieving, and delivers small portions of the powder into two science instruments inside the Rover. SA/SPaH utilizes 17 actuated degrees-of-freedom to perform the functions needed to produce 5 sample pathways in support of the scientific investigation on Mars. Both hardware redundancy and functional redundancy are employed in configuring this sampling system so some functionality is retained even with the loss of a degree-of-freedom. Intentional dynamic environments are created to move sample while vibration isolators attenuate this environment at the sensitive instruments located near the dynamic sources. In addition to the typical flight hardware qualification test program, two additional types of testing are essential for this kind of sampling system: characterization of the intentionally-created dynamic environment and testing of the sample acquisition and processing hardware functions using Mars analog materials in a low pressure environment. The overall subsystem design and configuration are discussed along with some of the challenges, tradeoffs, and lessons learned in the areas of fault tolerance, intentional dynamic environments, and special testing
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Kennedy Space Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Jandura, Louise
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 29, 2013
Publication Date
May 12, 2010
Publication Information
Publication: Proceedings of the 40th Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium
Subject Category
Space Sciences (General)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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