27 March 2015 Thermal analysis of brazing seal and sterilizing technique to break contamination chain for Mars sample return
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Abstract
The potential to return Martian samples to Earth for extensive analysis is in great interest of the planetary science community. It is important to make sure the mission would securely contain any microbes that may possibly exist on Mars so that they would not be able to cause any adverse effects on Earth’s environment. A brazing sealing and sterilizing technique has been proposed to break the Mars-to-Earth contamination chain. Thermal analysis of the brazing process was conducted for several conceptual designs that apply the technique. Control of the increase of the temperature of the Martian samples is a challenge. The temperature profiles of the Martian samples being sealed in the container were predicted by finite element thermal models. The results show that the sealing and sterilization process can be controlled such that the samples’ temperature is maintained below the potentially required level, and that the brazing technique is a feasible approach to break the contamination chain.
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Xiaoqi Bao, Mircea Badescu, Yoseph Bar-Cohen, "Thermal analysis of brazing seal and sterilizing technique to break contamination chain for Mars sample return", Proc. SPIE 9435, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2015, 943527 (27 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2086626; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2086626
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