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Trade study of penetration and sampling devices for possible use on the Mars Sample Return missions

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1 Author(s)
J. B. McConnell ; Texas A&M Univ., College Station, TX, USA

This paper reviews the work completed on the compilation of a database containing viable penetrating and sampling devices, the performance of a system level trade study comparing selected devices to a set of prescribed parameters and the employment of a metric for the evaluation and ranking of the traded penetration and sampling devices, with respect to possible usage on the 03 and 05 Mars Sample Return missions. The trade study performed is based on a select set of scientific, engineering, programmatic and socio-political criteria. The use of a metric for the various penetration and sampling devices will act to expedite current and future device selection. Three sets of weights and scorings were developed to represent the application of loose requirements, tight requirements and actual conditions. Five alternative lander based sampling system concepts, including the current Mars Sample Return baseline, were evaluated based on the developed criteria and three sets of weights/scorings. It was found that the optimal lander based sampling system for the set of weights/scorings representing actual conditions, was the current Mars Sample Return baseline, due to the no cost condition, from NASA's perspective. However, if this condition is not met, the optimal sampling system may change, based on the selected criteria and weights. This is important in the event that an alternative is required to the current lander based sample acquisition baseline system

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Aerospace Conference Proceedings, 2000 IEEE  (Volume:7 )

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