Rapid Extraction of Dust Impact Tracks from Silica Aerogel by Ultrasonic Micro-blades

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In January 2006, NASA's Stardust Mission will return with its valuable cargo of cometary dust particles, the first brought back to Earth, captured at hypervelocity speeds in silica aerogel collectors. Aerogel, a proven capture medium, is also a candidate for future sample return missions and low-earth orbit (LEO) deployments. Critical to the science return of Stardust and future missions using aerogel is the ability to efficiently extract impacted particles from collector tiles. Researchers will be eager to obtain Stardust samples as quickly as possible, and tools for the rapid extraction of particle impact tracks that require little construction, training, or ... continued below

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PDF-file: 24 pages; size: 3.4 Mbytes

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Ishii, H; Graham, G; Kearsley, A T; Grant, P G; Snead, C J & Bradley, J P February 17, 2005.

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In January 2006, NASA's Stardust Mission will return with its valuable cargo of cometary dust particles, the first brought back to Earth, captured at hypervelocity speeds in silica aerogel collectors. Aerogel, a proven capture medium, is also a candidate for future sample return missions and low-earth orbit (LEO) deployments. Critical to the science return of Stardust and future missions using aerogel is the ability to efficiently extract impacted particles from collector tiles. Researchers will be eager to obtain Stardust samples as quickly as possible, and tools for the rapid extraction of particle impact tracks that require little construction, training, or investment would be an attractive asset. To this end, we have experimented with diamond and steel micro-blades. Applying ultrasonic frequency oscillations to these micro-blades via a piezo-driven holder produces rapid, clean cuts in the aerogel with minimal damage to the surrounding collector tile. With this approach, impact tracks in aerogel fragments with low-roughness cut surfaces have been extracted from aerogel tiles flown on NASA's Orbital Debris Collector Experiment. The smooth surfaces produced during cutting reduce imaging artifacts during analysis by SEM. Some tracks have been dissected to expose the main cavity for eventual isolation of individual impact debris particles and further analysis by techniques such as TEM and nanoSIMS.

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PDF-file: 24 pages; size: 3.4 Mbytes

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  • Journal Name: Meteoritics and Planetary Sciences; Journal Volume: 40; Journal Issue: 11

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  • Report No.: UCRL-JRNL-209950
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 875959
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc877940

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • February 17, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Dec. 9, 2016, 6:53 p.m.

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Ishii, H; Graham, G; Kearsley, A T; Grant, P G; Snead, C J & Bradley, J P. Rapid Extraction of Dust Impact Tracks from Silica Aerogel by Ultrasonic Micro-blades, article, February 17, 2005; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc877940/: accessed December 12, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.