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12 April 2017 Compact piezoelectric resonance mass balance for sample verification and mass quantification and mixing
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There is a need for sample verification and mass quantification of rock, soil and/or ice obtained by sample acquisition mechanisms on extraterrestrial bodies. For many scientific instruments information about the mass of the sample would aid in the interpretation of the data and help prevent the portioning system from overloading instrument ports. Additionally, on a potential sample return mission it is likely that a sample confirmation or mass determination requirement would be implemented before the spacecraft would be commanded to return to Earth or Lunar orbit. In an effort to meet these potential requirements, a piezoelectric resonance balance is being developed to measure a frequency change proportional to the sample mass change. In previous work1 we developed a resonance balance which produced large non-linear frequency changes due to the addition of a large mass. In this study we have looked at a variety of resonator geometries in an effort to linearize the frequency shift with mass. In addition, we have investigated the use of oscillator/counter circuitry to track the frequency shift of the piezoelectric mass balance. In this new design the frequency shifts automatically when a mass is placed on the balance and the counter circuit calculates the frequency shift. This frequency is then converted to a mass using calibration tables determined previously. An additional feature we have implemented is the use of a high frequency thickness mode piezoelectric resonator to mix the sample and a reactant or solvent. This allows for measuring both sample and reagent prior to ingestion by the instrument. This paper will focus on the design requirements and how they are affected by the local gravity and acoustic properties of the sample. Designs which allow for easy loading and unloading of the balance will also be discussed.
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Stewart Sherrit, Hyeong Jae Lee, Aaron C. Noell, Gene B. Merewether, and Christopher R. Yahnker "Compact piezoelectric resonance mass balance for sample verification and mass quantification and mixing", Proc. SPIE 10168, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2017, 1016823 (12 April 2017);

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