Impact-Actuated Digging Tool for Lunar Excavation
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
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Small Business Information
Honeybee Robotics Ltd.
460 W 34th Street, New York, NY, 10001-2320
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractHoneybee Robotics proposes to develop a vacuum compatible, impact-actuated digging tool for the excavation of frozen and compacted regolith on the lunar surface and in the permanently shadowed craters of the lunar poles. This technology development effort will address the most challenging aspects of excavation in the lunar environment and work to develop a design relevant to a range of future lunar missions. This effort will also serve to guide and inform the requirements for the vehicles and systems that will be necessary for such missions. The fundamental architecture of an impact-actuated digging tool has been demonstrated for terrestrial applications for the Department of Defense. Honeybee's digging tool design is a novel approach ideally suited for lunar applications to defeat compacted and frozen regolith. By using the impact energy imparted by a reciprocating hammer transferred through the scoop to defeat the target material, the need for large reaction loads from the vehicle is minimized, allowing for a much smaller, lower mass system. This ongoing effort will serve to instruct and maximize the benefit to NASA.
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