That's a wrap, everyone! The NASA jury has chosen, and our winners are listed below. Congratulations to our winner, Lauri Link, as well as our four runners-up: Jean-Gabriel Jolly, Lauren Fell, Jonathan Zeigler, and ByTechLab. Your hard work and dedication has paid off!
We would also like to take this time to thank everyone who put time and effort into participating in this challenge. Whether or not you were one of the winners, we hope that you will return and show off your talents in future challenges. You never know - you may be next!
This design was unique amongst all of the competition entries and we considered it very innovative compared to the traditional methods for acquiring samples. While there are some challenges to overcome in using a system like this, the novel design impressed the team. The system is lightweight, low-power, and simple to operate. Further testing will be done to verify the effectiveness of the whisk but if proven capable it could provide mission designers with the capability to easily collect specific samples from planetary surfaces.
The design allows for the sample collection operation to be simple and straightforward while still providing the required filtering of the materials. The team liked the use of vibration motors on the scoop to shake loose dust while leaving behind the larger rocks. Adding a vibration motor to the sample canister enables the tight packing of the fine regolith and rocks which will protect the samples from moving around within the canister. The multiple videos of real-world testing served as evidence of the efficacy of the design. The simplicity of the design will allow us to quickly build a version for testing.
The use of a mesh for filtering was interesting and well-received by the team. The openness of the design allows for great visibility during sample collection and filter operations. Mounting the sample canister to the acquisition system could introduce some operational challenges but it could be separated from the sampler with a few tweaks to the design. The detailed documentation, including a narrated video of testing, was highly appreciated by the team.
The gas system would be effective for transferring the collected material from the scoop to the canister. The designer attached the sample canister to the scoop but with the gas system it could be moved to a new location while still allowing for easy material transferring. The openness of the scoop would provide good visibility during sampling and sorting operations.
The multi-compartment design with various filter sizes should allow for easy sorting of materials. The trapdoor configuration would allow unwanted materials to be dumped from one compartment while retaining wanted materials in the other compartment. The inclusion of the vibration motor should help push material through the filters when performing sorting operations. The enclosed compartments restricts visibility but we believe this could be fixed with some redesign work.
Very interesting screw transfer system supported with real world testing. The team was concerned with the potential for dust to clog the screw system during operations and also unsure about the ability to see the samples prior to depositing into the canister (it was difficult to spot them in the video even though they were brightly colored).
Straight forward scoop design with multiple filters for sorting should allow easy operations however it was very similar to previous designs that have been proposed.
Simple scoop design should be effective but is very similar to previous scoop designs that have been proposed.
Interesting multi-staged collecting and sorting approach but the team was concerned about the complexity of the operations.
Novel rotational double scoop system with multiple filters for sorting. The team was concerned about visibility of the sample and the transfer process.