Sample Encapsulation Device
NASA's Science Mission Directorate is currently considering various sample cache and return missions to the Moon, Mars and asteroids. These missions involve the use of a coring tool to produce rock and soil cores. The MEPAG committee recommends that core acquisition take place directly into an individual encapsulation sleeve with a pressed-in cap. The improved sample encapsulation technology of this proposal can be activated while the drill bit is still in the drill hole, thus preserving sample integrity before the core is even extracted. It also insures the sample does not fall out during bit extraction. The sleeves can handle cores of rock, soil or regolith; and are translucent or transparent enabling inspection of the core after extraction. They preserve stratigraphy, volatiles, voids and gaps, and incomplete cores. A unique aspect of the sleeves instills the ability to preserve core integrity even in the vibration and shock environment of a sample return mission. This proposed Phase 1 effort involves a design trade study, analysis and a proof-of-concept test. At the end of Phase 1, the innovations will be at TRL 4. A proposed Phase 2 effort would involve integration into a core drill design, environmental testing, and shock and vibration testing to advance the technology to TRL 6.
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Cadtrak Engineering, LLC
31 Santa Barbara Avenue San Anselmo, CA 94960-1653
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