The robotic technology, especially the intelligent robotics that can autonomously conduct numerous dangerous and uncertain tasks, has been widely applied to planetary explorations. Similar to terrestrial mining, before landing on planets or building planetary constructions, a drilling and coring activity should be first conducted to investigate the in-situ geological information. Given the technical advantages of unmanned robotics, utilizing an autonomous drill tool to acquire the planetary soil sample may be the most reliable and cost-effective solution. However, due to several unique challenges existed in unmanned drilling and coring activities, such as long-distance time delay, uncertain drilling formations, limited sensor resources, etc., it is indeed necessary to conduct researches to improve system’s adaptability to the complicated geological formations. Taking drill tool’s power consumption and soil’s coring morphology into account, this chapter proposed a drilling and coring characteristics online monitoring method to investigate suitable drilling parameters for different formations. Meanwhile, by applying pattern recognition techniques to classify different types of potential soil or rocks, a drillability classification model is built accurately to identify the current drilling formation. By combining suitable drilling parameters with the recognized drillability levels, a closed-loop drilling strategy is established finally, which can be applied to future interplanetary exploration.
Part of the book: Drilling