The Phoenix Lander Icy Soil Acquisition Device (ISAD), commonly know as the Scoop and the Rasp, is a low-energy, low-mass mechatronic system designed to collect a soil sample from the Martian polar tundra without sublimating any water it may contain. ISAD was conceived during a 14-day design sprint funded by an emergency JPL SBIR grant. Honeybee's proposed design won a second contract to build the space flight system. I worked on both development phases of the flight hardware as a staff engineer, designing science ops algorithms, cutting blade geometry and new Martian soil simulants. On July 30th, 2008, the Phoenix Lander collected and analyzed samples that confirmed that water exists on Mars.

"[ISAD] collected almost perfect samples of the interface of ice and soil".

~ Peter Smith, Principal Investigator, Phoenix Lander mission 

An article in Wired Magazine about the Phoenix Lander's Rasp.

NASA Mars 2007 Phoenix Lander Robotic Arm and Icy Soil Acquisition Device in Journal of Geophysical Research

date: 2005

role: Robotics Engineer  

team: an 8-person engineering team at Honeybee Robotics with support from JPL.


misc. media