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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Interstellar neutral atoms of helium from the local interstellar medium are observed by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft in the Earth orbit. Researchers from CBK PAN, together with international collaborators, analyze these observations to determine the Sun’s motion with respect to the local interstellar medium and the temperature of this medium. In a broader perspective, results of these analyses provide important insight into mechanisms of interaction of the heliosphere with its surroundings. In a paper recently published in The Astrophysical Journal they analyzed data from two energy channels of the IBEX-Lo detector previously not used, in addition to the data from the channel used beforehand, and obtained a better assessment of these quantities.


Lyman-alpha line is one of the most prominent features in the UV part of the solar spectrum. It allows us to estimate the magnitude of radiation pressure, which is a force that photons from the Sun exert on hydrogen atoms. Radiation pressure is, next to the gravitational force, the main factor that determines the trajectories of neutral hydrogen and deuterium atoms inside the heliosphere.


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.


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