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MDA Technologies 2/2016

MDA Technologies 2/2016

Investigating the secret

Investigating the secret of rocky planets DRIVE TECHNOLOGIES Alive, active, and constantly changing, this is how our planet Earth is characterized. Its surface has been in motion since the planet’s formation. Continental plates drift apart and collide, forming mountains, oceans, and plains. Literally no stone is left unturned – only change is permanent. To learn more about the early days of Earth and its mysteries, geologists therefore need to look to Mars. 01 02 03 MDA Technologies 2/2016

Your partner from the start. About maxon motor Maxon motor, founded in 1961, is a family-owned Swiss company with more than 2000 employees worldwide. The company focuses mainly in the areas of drive technology. Maxon specializes in drive products like brushless and brushed DC motors up to 500 W, planetary gearheads, spur gearheads and automation products like sensors, servo amplifiers, positioning controllers. Maxon’s products find its applications in medical technology, industrial automation, measuring and testing technology, as well as auto motive and aerospace industry as well. The company develops its drives in Switzerland and Germany. The production sites are located in Swiss, Germany, Hungary and Korea with distribution network in 40 countries worldwide. 01 The maxon drive system that drives the HP3 bolt in the ground of Mars is exposed to forces of upto 400 g 02 Maxon’s DCX 22 brushed motor, used in InSight mission was reinforced to survive brutal impacts on Mars 03 The GP 22 HD gearhead used with the motor, is an extremely robust unit used in deep drilling operations The Red Planet does not have tectonic plates and hardly any geological activity. The surface is still as it was four billion years ago – albeit there used to be lakes and rivers, as we now know. Mars is interesting to researchers because it underwent the same basic formation process as our Earth. Both started out as balls of liquid fire and, through the process of planetary differentiation, turned into terrestrial planets, also called rocky planets. Heavy metals gravitated to the center, where they formed the red-hot iron core. Above, the mantle was formed, enclosed by the crust, which cooled down and solidified. Venus and Mercury also are rocky planets, while Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are gas giants. A nail that drives itself into the ground To learn more about Mars and its structure, NASA is sending a robotic probe called InSight in 2016. InSight will remain stationary after landing. One of it instruments will record seismic activities caused by quakes or comet strikes. A second instrument, called HP3, will enter five meters deep into the ground to measure the planet’s heat. It is a bolt, lovingly dubbed “Mole” by its developers. In the words of Judit Jänchen, it works “like a nail that drives itself into the ground.” Jänchen is a project manager at the German space agency, which developed HP3. Inside the Mole, there is a drive built by maxon, consisting of a DCX 22 motor and a GP 22 HD planetary gearhead, that has to stand up to extremely high requirements. This is because Mars, with its temperature fluctuations, sand storms, and thin atmosphere, is a very unfriendly place for technology. On top of that, the DC motor is going to be exposed to forces of up to 400 g. The motor’s task is to wind up a spring, which then releases with great force, executing a powerful downwards punch. This causes the bolt to drive itself into the ground step by step. The process takes several hours. Once embedded, the device stays in place. Temperature profile helps researchers The measurement is performed using a cable equipped with temperature sensors dragged along by the Mole. It is used to generate an exact temperature profile of the ground on Mars over a two-year period, to determine the surface heat flow. “This quantity is a fundamental parameter when you want to characterize a planet”, says Judit Jänchen. Information on the porosity and density of the ground can also be derived from the penetration speed of the Mole. Both results are of great interest for terrestrial geophysics. “This gives us a better understanding of the formation and evolution of rocky planets.” Photographs: lead photo NASA, other photos DLR, maxon motor www.maxonmotor.com Tailored hydraulics solutions Planning |Construction Sensible plans with clear goals Production Quality down to the tiniest welded seam Installation Comprehensive understanding of the product Quality assurance Precise inspection is the foundation of greater quality GKS-HYDRAULIK GmbH&Co. KG Im Heidach 3 88079 Kressbronn Telefon +49 7543 6055-0 www.gks-hydraulik.com

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