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Title: Enabling technologies for the subsurface exploration of the solar system
Author: Timoney, Ryan
ISNI:       0000 0004 8503 0697
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2019
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: QB Astronomy ; QE Geology ; TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery ; TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics