Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA Develops A Drill For The Future

Date:
April 14, 2000
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., together with engineers from Cybersonics, Inc., Erie, Penn., have developed a small, lightweight ultrasonic device that can drill and core very hard rocks and also has possible medical applications.

It's an invention that may eventually end up in the hands of every craftsman and orthopedic surgeon.

Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., together with engineers from Cybersonics, Inc., Erie, Penn., havedeveloped a small, lightweight ultrasonic device that can drill and core very hard rocks and also has possible medical applications.

Potential medical uses include extracting pacemaker leads, and the drilling necessary during surgical or diagnostic procedures involving thehuman skeletal structure. Future space missions that might use this new technology could include drilling for samples using lightweightlanders with robotic arms, and small rovers that roam the surface of an asteroid or planet.

"The drill is an ultrasonic device that offers exciting new capabilities for space exploration in future NASA missions," said Dr. YosephBar-Cohen, who leads JPL's Nondestructive Evaluation and Advanced Actuator Technologies unit. "Besides the immediate benefits of thetechnology to NASA, it is paving the way for other unique ultrasonic mechanisms that are being developed in our laboratory and elsewhere.Such devices can be made to be small and lightweight, to consume little power and to exhibit a high standard of reliability."

(Images of the drill may be seen at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/pictures/tech/drill.html .)

"This technology can be miniaturized to fit in the palm of a hand," said Tom Peterson, president of Cybersonics, Inc. Cybersonics holds apatent for the Ultrasonic/Sonic Drill and Corer. "There are numerous commercial applications, especially in the medical field. We are verypleased with the progress in development and look forward to finding even more useful applications."

The drill is driven by piezoelectric actuators, which have only two moving parts but no gears or motors. Piezoelectrics are materials thatchange their shape under the application of an electrical field. The drill can be adapted easily to operations in a range of temperatures fromextremely cold to very hot. Unlike conventional rotary drills, the drill can core even the hardest rocks, such as granite and basalt, withoutsignificant weight on the drilling bit.

The current demonstration unit weighs roughly 0.7 kilograms (1.5 pounds), which is sufficient to drill 12-millimeter (half- inch) holes ingranite using less than 10 watts of power. Comparable rotary drills usually require the application of 20- to-30 times greater pushing force andmore than three times the power. The drill/coring bit does not require sharpening and its drilling speed does not decrease with time. There is nodrill chatter, no drill "walk" on start-up, and the drill does not rotate. The bit can be guided by hand safely during operation. The drill can coreholes in different cross-sections, such as square, round or hexagon.

Bar-Cohen led the development team, which includes Drs. Benjamin Dolgin and Stewart Sherrit of JPL and the staff of Cybersonics, Inc.The technology was initially developed under a NASA Small Business Innovation Research Phase I contract that funded Cybersonics, Inc., andlater received funding from the NASA TeleRobotic Intercenter Working Group. Currently, the development is funded by the NASAExploration Program (Mars and Deep Space), and the Cybersonics effort is funded by a NASA Small Business Innovation Research Phase IIcontract.

Further information about the ultrasonic drill and other nondestructive evaluation and advanced actuator technologies is available on theInternet at http://ndeaa.jpl.nasa.gov .

JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "NASA Develops A Drill For The Future." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 April 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/04/000414081101.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2000, April 14). NASA Develops A Drill For The Future. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/04/000414081101.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "NASA Develops A Drill For The Future." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/04/000414081101.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) A comet from the farthest reaches of the solar system passed extremely close to Mars this weekend, giving astronomers a rare opportunity to study it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) Argentina launches a home-built satellite, a first for Latin America. It will ride a French-made Ariane 5 rocket into orbit, and will provide cell phone, digital TV, Internet and data services to the lower half of South America. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, October 17, 2014

This Week @ NASA, October 17, 2014

NASA (Oct. 17, 2014) Power spacewalk, MAVEN’s “First Light”, Hubble finds extremely distant galaxy and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon Might Have A Hidden Ocean

Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon Might Have A Hidden Ocean

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) The smallest of Saturn's main moons, Mimas, wobbles as it orbits. Research reveals it might be due to a global ocean underneath its icy surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins