Sample Manipulation System (SMS) for Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover

Posted by

Curiosity successfully landed on Mars in 2012 with the Sample Manipulation System (SMS) on board inside the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite. The SMS accepts Martian soil sample from inlet funnels, rotates to deliver that sample to one of several analysis instruments, then raises the sample up to create a seal with a force between 150 and 300 pounds. This project lasted more than 3 years and represents the bulk of the work I did at Honeybee Robotics. I was involved from the very early stages of concept development through final flight hardware assembly, integration, and testing. We used Autodesk Inventor software to design the model from concept through to final flight hardware detailed design. I also designed the twist capsule, completed 2D fabrication drawings, worked with vendors and machine shops to oversee fabrication, directed the assembly of the engineering and flight models, and assisted in all vibration, thermal, and life-cycle testing.

Leave a Reply