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Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California Berkeley, 6141 Etcheverry Hall, MC 1740, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
Publication date: 2017-03-01
Corresponding author
Mera Fayez Horne   

University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, 4485 Mira Loma Drive, 94565 Pittsburg, United States
Adv. Sci. Technol. Res. J. 2017; 11(1):1-28
The results from the Phoenix mission led scientists to believe it is possible that primitive life exists below the Martian surface. Therefore, drilling in Martian soil in search for organisms is the next logical step. Drilling on Mars is a major engineering challenge due to the drilling depth requirement and extreme environment condition. Mars lacks a thick atmosphere and a continuous magnetic field that shield the planet’s surface from solar radiation and solar flares. As a result, the Martian surface is sterile and if life ever existed, it must be found below the surface. NASA’s Mars Exploration Payload Advisory Group proposed that drilling should be considered as a priority investigation on Mars in an effort of finding evidence of extinct or extant life. The results from the Curiosity mission suggested drilling six meters deep in the red planet in search for life. Excavation tools deployed to Mars so far have been able to drill to a maximum depth of 6.5 cm. Thus, the drilling capabilities need to be increased by a factor of approximately 100 to achieve the goal of drilling six meters deep. This requirement puts a demand on developing new and more effective technologies to reach this goal. Previous research shows evidence of a promising drilling mechanism in rotary-ultrasonic for what it offers in terms of high surface quality, faster rate of penetration and higher material removal rate. This research addresses the need to understand the mechanics of the drill bit tip and rock interface in rotary-ultrasonic drilling performance of one drill bit at a time drilling in three types of rocks that vary in strength. A mathematical model identifying all contributing independent parameters, such as drill bit design parameters, drilling process parameters, ultrasonic wave amplitude and rocks’ material properties, that have effect on rate of penetration is developed. Analytical and experimental results under ambient condition are presented to show the effect of the variation of different parameters on rate of penetration performance as a first step of the investigation. It was found that the speed and WOB have significant effect on ROP while the rest of the parameter have very little or no effect.
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