DEEPER: The Drill for Extensive Exploration of Planetary Environments Using Robots
Landed missions which seek to explore ever-greater depths beneath planetary subsurfaces must manage the risks associated with this challenging task. When developing the most appropriate mission architecture, the designer must consider two options in the trade-off study: the use of heritage technologies such as the mass and volume-intensive hardware of ‘classical’ drill string assembly, or the adoption of novel technologies such as the wireline or coiled tube drilling approach. In order to address future European exploration goals, the European Space Agency (ESA) have proposed the development of a drill which shall enable exploration to 20 m through the use of a coiled tube system. The ‘Drill for Extensive Exploration of Planetary Environments using Robots’ (DEEPER) project is being delivered by a U.K. consortium including the University of Glasgow, the British Antarctic Survey, and Apogee Engineering Ltd. The team seeks to mature the baseline concept by developing a breadboard, which shall be tested both in the laboratory and in the field. This paper details the progress made to date, noting the challenges which have been identified and overcome ahead of manufacture.
Authors: Timoney, Ryan, Souza, Colin, Worrall, Kevin, Harkness, Patrick, Rix, Julius ORCID record for Julius Rix, Dixon, Andrew