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Percussive digging systems for robotic exploration and excavation of planetary and lunar regolith

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5 Author(s)
Craft, J. ; Honeybee Robot. Spacecraft Mechanisms Corp., New York, NY ; Wilson, J. ; Chu, P. ; Zacny, K.
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A percussive digging system has been demonstrated to decrease the amount of downforce needed to penetrate a given soil, thus reducing the required reaction loads and robot mass. Preliminary testing of a percussive digging system in compacted lunar regolith simulant, JSC-1A, has demonstrated a 15 x (fifteen times) reduction in the downforce necessary to penetrate the regolith. Downforce reductions of this magnitude are sufficient to enable robotic exploration system architectures that would not otherwise be feasible.

Published in:

Aerospace conference, 2009 IEEE

Date of Conference:

7-14 March 2009