CNSR– SAS-3m (88-90)
In the Comet Nucleus Sample Return (CNSR) scenario, the Sample Acquisition System (SAS) had to perform the following tasks:
- Anchoring the S/C on the comet (to counteract the drilling and other force/torque);
- Sampling of materials, to acquire:
- surface sample, i.e. 1 to 5 kg;
- a core sample, down to a depth of 3 m;
- a volatile sample at the bottom (10-100 g).
- Manipulation and handling samples and tools: the core sample, of diameter 10 cm, had to be cut in segments of 0.5 m long for storage in the Earth Return Container.
The requirement of sampling down to 3 m led to rather complex items; a single corer was impractical, and a corer device held on a telescopic tube was selected.
The total mass of the samples was superior to 15 kg, and their volume about 25 l.
Several system studies were performed. The figure A and B depict a concept of SAS-3m Telescopic Drill developed by Tecnospazio. The figure C shows the schematics of accommodation of the Telescopic Corer Drill on a Lander from Matra study; coring elements are brought successively deeper by a telescopic tube carried by a manipulator arm. The companies NGI in Norway and Diamant Boart in Belgium performed parallel corer studies. Finally, the CNSR SAS-3m remained at the stage of a conceptual study (Eiden M., Coste P. 1991).
Last update: 26 January 2011