January 26, 2021

Sunday Vision

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The polyurethane space tools complete the Chang’e 5’s lunar sampling

Surface Sampling and Packing System

Chang’e-5 is the world’s first lunar sample return mission in more than 40 years, and it aims to return a large quantity of lunar samples, up to two kilograms, by mechanical means. The probe adopts two methods of sampling the lunar surface: one uses a robotic arm to collect multi-point surface samples, and the other for underground drilling. The team led by Professor Yong Kai-Long, Sir Seze Yun Chung Professor of Precision Engineering, Professor of Precision Engineering and Co-Chair of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Polio University, was commissioned in 2011 to develop the “Surface Sampling and Packaging System”, which is a comprehensive system For moon surface sampling, filling and sealing.

Dr. Lam Tae Fei, Chair of the Polio Yue University Board, commented, “The collection of lunar samples is a historic occasion in the history of our nation’s space exploration program. Chang’e Mission 5. Moreover, the fact that Hong Kong scholars at Beaulieu University have developed some of the most important components of the project is a remarkable achievement for the entire city, proving that Hong Kong can play an important role in supporting our nation in making great strides in Areas of space exploration and science. “

Mr. Alfred Set, Minister of Innovation and Technology of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said: “Over the years, Beaulieu University has been actively involved in space exploration projects for our country by developing highly advanced space tools for our country. In the Chang’e 5 Lunar Exploration Project, it proved PolyU fully has accumulated rich experience in national and international space projects, cutting-edge technology as well as innovative thinking. The university’s research efforts are in line with the government’s goal of developing Hong Kong as an international center for innovation and technology and complementary to it. ”

Professor Jin Guang Ting, President of Polio Yu University, said: “The Lunar Mission Chang’e 5 has been closely watched by the whole world, as it will help the scientific community uncover some secrets and mysteries of the moon. I am very proud that researchers at Palestine Polytechnic University have developed “Surface sampling and packaging system” to facilitate the success of this outstanding mission. By contributing to such an advanced national space project, the university has demonstrated its significant research competence and commitment to producing breakthrough solutions that push the boundaries of technology and science forward. University of Beaulieu will continue to devote itself to the pursuit of excellence Research and create innovations that benefit Hong Kong, the nation and our world. “

Professor Young expressed his pride and his team’s sense of being part of this pioneering achievement. He said, “The collection of a large amount of lunar samples via robotic means was unprecedented. From research, through design to manufacturing, the development of this system required a very high level of innovation, accuracy and reliability. A slight defect anywhere could result in a complex chain of tasks. Necessary to nullify all costly efforts of mission participants. Thanks to the support of the nation, the university, and the experts at PolyU Industrial Center, we were able to produce this advanced space-ready instrument that successfully obtained samples from the surface of the Moon. We owe it to the nation to assign this essential responsibility to the university. ” .

Consists of two samples to collect bulk and sticky shapes from the lunar regolith, two close cameras, in addition to the packaging and sealing system, the “surface sampling and packing system” contains more than 400 components created in various materials including titanium alloys, alloys Aluminum and stainless steel, which make tools lightweight but at the same time durable and sturdy enough to withstand the harsh space environment.

Speaking about the challenges of the project, Professor Young said: “Since our system needs to operate on the sun-facing side of the moon where Earth temperatures can reach 110 degrees Celsius, this innovation has to be very sophisticated and capable of operating under extremely high temperatures. He also needed to endure the harsh space environment while traveling to and landing on the moon, which means the impact of shock continues during take-off and landing, the high vacuum on the moon, exposure to solar winds and cosmic rays, as well as high speed. Return to the Earth’s atmosphere.

“To meet the limited payload requirements, we have had to be innovative in designing our mechanism and be rigorous in controlling weight. For example, both samples are more than just a tool for lunar regolith. They are also used to capture and transport the sample container from the lander to the ascendant above it. Continued, Professor Young.

Features of surface and fill sampling system:

  • Sampler A – Approximately 35 cm in length, Sample A, trowel shaped, is specially designed for collecting loose regolith. The vibration and impact while the sampler is closed is a detailed design for ejecting excess debris, removing large pieces of regolith, enclosing samples tightly, and depositing precisely defined samples in the container without contaminating the surrounding environment.
  • Sampler B – About 30 cm long, Sampler B is used to collect adhesive samples by drilling into the ground with metal plates that resemble teeth when opened. Captures target samples by closing these metal plates. The plunger inside the sampler pushes sticky samples into the container during sample deposit as the plates gradually open.
  • Near Field Cameras – Heat resistant to 130 ° C, near field camera attached to each sampler. This camera provides a surveillance function and visual guidance to aid in selecting scientifically valuable moon samples. The optical guiding function also enables the sampler to deposit samples into the container, grip the container and move it upward with precision.
  • Sealing and packaging system – Weighing 1.5 kg, the sample container weighs only 360 grams and is used for sealing and storing lunar samples for reassembly on Earth, and this system includes a funnel deployment to protect the sample container from contamination at the moon, regolith is deposited and a sweeping procedure to clean the excess sample to ensure that the lid can be closed Container properly.

As the only university institution in Hong Kong with international experience in deep space qualification, Beaulieu University has contributed to the nation’s space projects since 2010. As part of the nation’s lunar exploration program, Professor Young has collaborated with the Chinese Academy of Space Technology to develop a “pointing system” The “camera for Chang’e 3 in 2013 and for the historic Chang’e 4 landing on the far side of the moon in 2019, and the Mars camera for Tianwen 1 in 2020.” The “surface sampling and packing system” will be used for the Chang’e 6 mission Also.

The University of Bollywood has been actively involved in other space exploration projects, having designed and manufactured a number of advanced space tools in the past decade. These include the “Mars Rock Corer” for the 2003 ESA Mars Express mission and the “Soil Preparation System” for the Sino-Russian space mission in 2011.

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