NASA is seeking to challenge the GrabCAD Community by sponsoring an open competition in which participants design a bucket drum for RASSOR that will provide the maximum amount of regolith extraction and retention while remaining free of obstructions during loading and unloading.
Regolith excavation is desired in future space missions for the purpose of In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) to make local commodities, such as propellants and breathing air, and to pursue construction operations.
RASSOR is a teleoperated mobile robotic platform with a unique space regolith excavation capability. Its design incorporates net-zero reaction force, thus allowing it to load, haul, and dump space regolith under extremely low gravity conditions with high reliability.
RASSOR uses counterrotating bucket drums on opposing arms to provide near-zero horizontal and minimal vertical net reaction force so that excavation is not reliant on the traction or weight of the mobility system to provide a reaction force to counteract the excavation force in low-gravity environments.
During loading, the bucket drums excavate soil/regolith by scoops mounted on the drums exteriors that sequentially take multiple cuts of soil/regolith while rotating at approximately 20 revolutions per minute. Inside the hollow drums are baffles that trap the regolith and prevent it from falling back out of the scoops. During hauling, the bucket drums are raised by rotating the arms to provide clearance above the surface being excavated. The mobility platform can then travel while the soil/regolith remains in the raised bucket drums. When the excavator reaches the dump location, the bucket drums are commanded to reverse their direction of rotation, which causes soil/regolith to be expelled out of each successive scoop.
For more information: https://technology.nasa.gov/patent/KSC-TOPS-7
1. Successful designs will have a fill ratio higher than 50%.
2. Short description of how your design works and intended fill ratio
3. Is the design real? Can the design work? Can it actually be created?
4. Meets dimension requirements
5. If the engineer can provide a simulation of the regolith grain, that is a plus.
Requirements needed for Submission:
Maximum total width of scoops engaged at any given time: 175 mm
Maximum bucket drum mass: 5 kg
Maximum bucket drum diameter: 450 mm
Maximum bucket drum length: 360 mm
A minimum volume of regolith captured: 17.6 liters
Submission File Formats
STEP of design(s)
Final design STL
Short description of design/how it works
ENTERING THE COMPETITION:
SUBMITTING AN ENTRY
AWARDING THE WINNERS
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.
$7000 in Prizes
This challenge is sponsored by the NASA Lunar Surface Innovation Initiative (LSII) which is a technology development portfolio to enable human and robotic exploration on the Moon and future operations on Mars.
The RASSOR excavator was developed at NASA - Kennedy Space Center’s Swamp Works. Swamp Works is a technology development group with expertise in In-Situ Resource Utilization. The Swamp Works team uses lean and rapid design and development processes to develop prototype hardware for future missions.