NASA is seeking to challenge the GrabCAD Community by sponsoring an open competition in which participants design a sampling system to collect lunar surface materials for return to Earth and subsequent scientific analysis. The competition will be to design a sampling system that is capable of acquiring a defined amount of regolith (rocks and dust) within specific size ranges while operating under the provided constraints. The winning designs will be built and tested by NASA and used to inform potential future sample return missions on possible sampling methods.
Sample return missions are constrained by mass, power, and operating time. There is a need for a lightweight, low power sampling system that is capable of sorting the collected regolith so only specific types of materials are returned. Rocks in the ~1 cm size range are well suited for scientific analysis. Prioritizing the collection of these materials within the design constraints is the main goal of the competition.
1) Total mass of sampling system (lighter is better).
2) Total power consumption (less is better).
3) Layered packing of samples into container is better. Example:
"First deposit into container: Fines/loose regolith
Second deposit: ~1 cm rocks
Third deposit: Fines/loose regolith
Fourth deposit: ~1 cm rocks
Repeat until mass and volume requirements are met."
1) Sampling system shall be capable of acquiring 100 cm3 (density of lunar basalt = 3.27-3.46 g/cm3 so baseline of 150g to 300g of sample) of regolith.
2) Collected sample shall consist of a minimum of 10, maximum of 20, 1 cm to 2 cm diameter rocks.This may require filtering or sorting the sample prior to depositing in sample container.
3) Sampling system shall fill the remaining sample volume (10-80 cm3 after gathering rocks) with materials smaller than 1 cm.
4) Samples shall be collected in the upper 10 cm of lunar regolith.
5) Samples shall come in contact only with aluminum and/or Teflon within the sample system.
6) Sampling system mass must be no greater than 0.5 kg.
7) Samples shall be deposited by the sampling system into a cylinder container that is 4.8 cm wide (diameter) and 5.73 cm tall.
8) Sampling system shall be capable of operating in a lunar day thermal environment (range of -140C to +80C).
9) Sampling system shall be capable of operating in a hard vacuum (10-6 torr).
10) Maximum power available for the sampling system is 30 watts.
11) Sampling system shall be capable of providing visual confirmation of collected contents prior to depositing into sample container. Assume the presence of a video camera on the lander which can be used for visual confirmation (must be able to see the sample).
12) Full sampling operations shall be completed within <= 1 Earth day (24 hours).
13) Sampling system physical (mounting) and electrical (wiring) interfaces must be accounted for in the design.
14) Submissions must identify any lander components that are necessary for using the sampling system. These do not need to be designed.
SUBMISSION FILE FORMATS
STEP of design space(s)
Final design STL
ENTERING THE COMPETITION
The Challenge is open to everyone except employees and families of GrabCAD and the Sponsor. Multiple entries are welcome. Team entries are welcome.
By entering the Challenge you:
1. Accept the official GrabCAD Challenges Terms & Conditions.
2. Agree to be bound by the decisions of the judges (Jury).
3. Warrant that you are eligible to participate.
4. Warrant that the submission is your original work.
5. Warrant, to the best of your knowledge, your work is not, and has not been in production or otherwise previously published or exhibited.
6. Warrant neither the work nor its use infringes the intellectual property rights (whether a patent, utility model, functional design right, aesthetic design right, trademark, copyright or any other intellectual property right) of any other person.
7. Warrant participation shall not constitute employment, assignment or offer of employment or assignment.
8. Are not entitled to any compensation or reimbursement for any costs.
9. Agree the Sponsor and GrabCAD have the right to promote all entries.
If you think an entry may infringe on existing copyrighted materials, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUBMITTING AN ENTRY
Only entries uploaded to GrabCAD through the "Submit entry" button on this Challenge page will be considered an entry. Only public entries are eligible. We encourage teams to use GrabCAD Workbench for developing their entries. Entries are automatically given the tag "nasalunarsampling" when uploading to GrabCAD. Please do not edit or delete this tag. Only entries with valid tag will participate in the Challenge.
AWARDING THE WINNERS
The sum of the Awards is the total gross amount of the reward. The awarded participant is solely liable for the payment of all taxes, duties and other similar measures if imposed on the reward pursuant to the legislation of the country of his/her residence, domicile, citizenship, workplace, or any other criterion of similar nature. Only 1 award per person. Prizes may not be transferred or exchanged. All winners will be contacted by the GrabCAD staff to get their contact information and any other information needed to get the prize to them. Payment of cash awards is made through PayPal. All team awards will be transferred to the member who entered the Challenge.
We will release the finalists before the announcement of the winners to give the Community an opportunity to share their favorites in the comments, discuss concerns, and allow time for any testing or analysis by the Jury. The Jury will take the feedback into consideration when picking the winners.
Winning designs will be chosen based on the Rules and Requirements.
This Challenge ends on September 28th, 2018 (23:59 ET.) Finalists will be announced on October 5th, 2018 Winners will be announced on October 19th, 2018.
$7000 in Prizes!
NASA & GrabCAD
The Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Division performs physical science research at Johnson Space Center (JSC) and serves as the JSC focus for support to the HQ Science Mission Directorate. We perform research in Earth, planetary, and space sciences and have the curatorial responsibility for all NASA-held extraterrestrial samples. ARES scientists and engineers also provide support to the human and robotic spaceflight programs with expertise in orbital debris modeling, analysis of micrometeoroid/orbital debris risks to spacecraft, image analysis and earth observations.