The new concept of sampling device driven by rotary hammering actions
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rys1The issue of IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics ( Volume: 21, Issue: 5, Oct. 2016 ) features paper: The new concept of sampling device driven by rotary hammering actions written by Karol Seweryn, Space Research Centre, PAS. In this paper the concept of a new type of sampling device, called PACKMOON, dedicated for low gravity bodies space environment, is presented (figure on bottom left). The principle of operation of the PACKMOON device is based on two key elements: insertion of the spherical jaws (casing) into regolith by rotary hammering actions and minimization of interaction with the lander by taking advantage of doubling mechanical subsystems, which operate in the same angular direction but in opposite sense. As a result a significant improvement of effectiveness in comparison to previous CBK penetrometers were achieved (figure on left).

Numerical simulations validated by experimental results allow (figure on bottom right) to optimize the device. As a result, the PACKMOON device is a reliable mechatronic system that effectively uses power to sample relatively hard material (up to 5-7 MPa) with minimum interaction with the lander. In addition, both thermal and mechanical interaction with the sample is relatively small, and in that sense the sample is more valuable for further scientific investigations. This issue is a key driver for planned sample return missions such as ESA Phootprint mission to Phobos.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 September 2016 13:16

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Turbulence is a complex phenomenon with driving mechanisms still not clearly understood in contemporary science. Turbulence naturally appears in astrophysical plasmas, including the solar wind at planetary and interstellar shocks. The shocks in astrophysical plasmas are usually collisionless due to a very low density of the medium and therefore they differ from those observed in ordinary fluids, because they often result from interaction of nonlinear structures.


Sample return space missions are one of the possible options to extend our knowledge about extra-terrestrial materials, processes occurring on surface and subsurface level, as well as interactions between regolith and technology. Collection of surface or subsurface material from such bodies is a key technical process that needs to be performed to achieve the goals of such missions. Although in terrestrial environment the sampling process is relatively easy, smart solutions are needed for zero gravity, unknown and remotely accessible space environment.


The interstellar gas in the Local Interstellar Cloud (LIC) surrounding the Sun is composed mainly of hydrogen and helium. But it contains also other chemical elements, among which the most abundant are oxygen and neon. The neutral atoms from the LIC flow into the heliosphere, where some of them are ionized and carried away with the solar wind as pick-up ions (PUIs), but some of them reach the Earth's orbit and distances even closer to the Sun. Underway, they are focused by solar gravity and form a characteristic, elongated patterns in density, with a cone of enhanced concentration at the downwind side of the Sun.


The November issue of the prestigious science journal Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series presents results of investigations of interstellar matter in the immediate galactic neighborhood of the Sun, carried out by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) space probe. An important contribution to the findings presented in a series of 14 papers published in a special topical issue of ApJS was brought by a team of scientists from the Laboratory for Solar System Physics and Astrophysics of the Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences (Centrum Badań Kosmicznych PAN, CBK PAN), led by Dr. Maciej Bzowski.


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