Intelligent explorer with smart manipulator and drilling mechanism for lunar or planetary exploration

T. Kubota, Kenji Nagaoka, Y. Kunii

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Unmanned deep space explorations have received a lot of attention in recent years. Some missions to land safely and explore on the surface of the moon or other planets are proposed and planned in the world. In Japan, lunar lander-rover missions have been earnestly studied. In these missions, it is required to perform sampling, conduct in-situ analysis of geological samples and deploy devices for measurement and observation. Many researchers have studied and developed sample acquisition systems and driller or corer systems. Recently deep drillers or penetrating systems have been required to obtain deep data for subsurface exploration. In lunar or planetary mission, it is needed to excavate the regolith layer, which covers the lunar surface, in depth of several meters. Some suggestions for drilling on the lunar surface have already been made. However, there are few schemes that can satisfy the requirement. This paper, to begin with, describes lunar or planetary mission scenarios and scientific requirements. A detailed surface and subsurface exploration by a mobile explorer is presented. Then a smart manipulator with new actuators to collect samples is proposed. The proposed manipulator is actuated by ultra-sonic motors, which can lead to a light-weight system with low-power consumption. The developed manipulator has an end-effecter to collect regolith, pick up stones, etc. The effectiveness of the developed smart manipulator is shown by some experiments. This paper also proposes a mole-like robot which is maneuverable in regolith. A new mechanism to move forward in the soil is described. The drilling function is studied by analyses and some experiments. The experimental results show the feasibility of the proposed robot.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEarth and Space 2010
Subtitle of host publicationEngineering, Science, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environments - Proceedings of the 12th International Conference
Pages1162-1172
Number of pages11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Nov 29
Event12th International Conference on Engineering, Science, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environments - Earth and Space 2010 - Honolulu, HI, United States
Duration: 2010 Mar 142010 Mar 17

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 12th International Conference on Engineering, Science, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environments - Earth and Space 2010

Other

Other12th International Conference on Engineering, Science, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environments - Earth and Space 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityHonolulu, HI
Period10/3/1410/3/17

Keywords

  • Drilling
  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Space exploration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Engineering

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