Sensor and Payload Deployment Mechanisms
At Honeybee Robotics Exploration Systems, we are unique in our ability to design novel and out-of-the-box mechanisms to solve the most complex problems in a simple, elegant, low cost and low mass way. He best example of this are our sensor and payload deployment mechanisms. We have proven mechanisms for deploying payloads and sensors to or below the surface as well as various other deployment mechanisms to solve a variety of needs.
One of our most efficient mechanisms for deploying sensors deep below the surface of celestial bodies is our pneumatic drill. Our pneumatic drill design provides effective penetration through regolith while maintaining a low volume, mass and power profile. And by avoiding the use of downhole or percussive actuators for deployment, the Honeybee pneumatic drill injects almost no heat into the regolith, enabling accurate measurements of the natural landscape. This system is being used as the deployments stage for LISTER, a heat flow probe flying to the Moon in 2021. We also have used this system to deploy seismic sensors.
Honeybee has also developed deployable connectors to function in the harshest environments. Dust-Tolerant Connector (DTC) technologies enable reliable mechanical, electrical, and fluid connections through many mate/demate cycles in the presence of highly abrasive and adhesive lunar dust. The system also works in the harsh environment of space, where it provides reliable mate / demate electromechanical and fluid connections for manned space missions or on-orbit docking.
A novel method of deploying sensors off of a lander deck is Honeybee’s MoonSHOT technology. Along with Impossible Sensing Inc., Honeybee has developed a slingshot type mechanism for shooting a sensor array 100’s of meters away from a static lander deck. The sensor array would be tethered to the lander by fiber optics where the instrument itself would sit and analyze the images it is receiving from the sensor array.