The project has to cope with strong requirements in terms of low mass, low power consumption, wide operative range and very stringent environmental conditions (thermo-vacuum). The primary characteristics of SD2 are here below summarised :
- capable to drill the surface and to collect samples (tens of mm3) at different controllable depth up to 230 mm (assuming a clearance between the lander Balcony and comet surface of 300 mm)
- capable to move and distribute the collected samples to the different scientific instruments (visible and I/R microscope, gas volatile analysers)
- capable to cope with the expected comet material properties (e.g. hardness in the range from fluffy snow to some MPa)
- compatibility with the extreme temperature environmental condition (for the electromecanics down to -160°C for storage and -140°C operative)
- compatibility with vacuum environment
- compatibility with the long inactivity time at extreme environmental condition (more than 9 years during cruise)
- no thermal and chemical contamination are allowed to the sample material
- challenging mass and power budgets: ~5 Kg and 10 W average including mechanics and electronics.
The SD2 system has been conceived as a four degrees of freedom robotic system. Particular importance has been given to the tribological and to the reliability aspects. Indeed all materials, processes and technological solutions have been carefully selected in order to cope with the given conditions, specifically :
- solid and self lubrication
- brushless actuation and sensors
- low friction/ antijamming approaches
- cutting technology (for all range of materials)
- low power consumption and radiation resistant electronics
- special composite material approach.
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