Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/10568
Title: Study of a thermal drill head for the exploration of subsurface planetary ice layers
Authors: Weiss, P
Yung, KL 
Ng, TC
Komle, N
Kargl, G
Kaufmann, E
Keywords: Enceladus
Europa
Ice
Mars polar cap
Melting probe
Thermal drilling
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
Source: Planetary and space science, 2008, v. 56, no. 9, p. 1280-1292 How to cite?
Journal: Planetary and Space Science 
Abstract: The recently discovered water vapor plumes on Saturn's moon Enceladus, the polar caps of planet Mars and the possible ice volcanism on the Jovian satellites call for suitable techniques to explore deep ice layers of the solar system bodies. This paper presents a novel approach to deliver scientific probes into deeper layers of planetary ice. Several existing locomotion concepts and techniques for such probes are presented. After studying the mathematical framework of the melting locomotion process, melting tests with different head forms were done to evaluate the influence of the head's geometry on the melting process. This work led to a novel concept of a thermal drill head, using heat and mechanical drill in combination to penetrate the ice. We compare the performance of such a hybrid concept versus the melting penetration alone by a mathematical model and tests in ice with a prototype of the melting drill head.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/10568
ISSN: 0032-0633
DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2008.04.004
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