Enabling technologies for the subsurface exploration of the solar system

Timoney, Ryan (2019) Enabling technologies for the subsurface exploration of the solar system. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b3372321


Future robotic exploration missions within the Solar System, focussing on either scientific discovery or the emerging field of In-Situ Resource Utilisation (ISRU), shall require the development of technologies which are capable of exploring to ever-greater depths beneath the planetary surface. In order to achieve these ambitious goals, advances in the existing state of the art in robotic sampling are required.
This Ph.D. presents findings on the development of novel solutions within this field. The development of the Ultrasonic Planetary Core Drill (UPCD), a system based upon the ultrasonic-percussive drill technique, was designed with a Mars Sample Return (MSR) objective at the core of the development. Breakthroughs in autonomous control and the robotic assembly of drill strings were required in order to meet the requirements set. The system was tested at Coal Nunatak, Antarctica, in December 2016.
A rotary-percussive drilling system for use in extracting subglacial bedrock samples from Earth’s Polar Regions was developed. Making use of technologies devised in the UPCD project, this collaboration with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) required a low resource approach to the problem in order to ensure compatibility with existing BAS systems and logistical constraints.
Building upon technologies developed and confidence generated in previous systems, the subglacial bedrock was industrialised into what became the Percussive Rapid Access Isotope Drill (P-RAID). This system underwent initial field trials at the Skytrain Ice Rise, Antarctica in January 2019 with the intention to further develop the system for full deployment.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Drilling, sampling, solar system, polar regions, Antarctica.
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QE Geology
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Supervisor's Name: Harkness, Dr. Patrick
Date of Award: 2019
Depositing User: Dr Ryan Timoney
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-76720
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2019 09:14
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 16:03
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.76720
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/76720

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