NASA Mars 2007 phoenix lander robotic arm and icy soil acquisition device

Robert G. Bonitz, Lori Shiraishi, Matthew Robinson, Raymond E. Arvidson, P. C. Chu, J. J. Wilson, K. R. Davis, G. Paulsen, A. G. Kusack, Doug Archer, Peter Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The primary purpose of the Mars 2007 Phoenix Lander Robotic Arm (RA) and associated Icy Soil Acquisition Device (ISAD) is to acquire samples of Martian dry and icy soil (DIS) by digging, scraping, and rasping, and delivering them to the Thermal Evolved Gas Analyzer and the Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer. The RA will also position (1) the Thermal and Electrical Conductivity Probe (TECP) in the DIS; (2) the TECP at various heights above the surface for relative humidity measurements, and (3) the Robotic Arm Camera to take images of the surface, trench, DIS samples within the ISAD scoop, magnetic targets, and other objects of scientific interest within its workspace. The RA/ISAD will also be used to generate DIS piles for monitoring; conduct DIS scraping, penetration, rasping, and chopping experiments; perform compaction tests; and conduct trench cave-in experiments. Data from the soil mechanics experiments will yield information on Martian DIS properties such as angle of repose, cohesion, bearing strength, and grain size distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE00A01
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 20 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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