The aim of the DREAM Project (Drilling Experiment for Asteroid Mining) is to investigate the parameters of the drilling process in microgravity and vacuum environment. Therefore the project takes part in the international program – REXUS (Rocket Experiments for University Students) coordinated by the European Space Agency (ESA), the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The program involves sending experiments prepared by students’ groups from all over Europe to approx. 100 km by sounding rocket to carry out measurements and then analyse the results.
The main objective of the experiment is to investigate the drilling process in space conditions. It will be achieved by monitoring the drill bit and behavior of the drilling output. A number of physical parameters will be measured – such as torque, force and temperature. The team wants to determine what challenges are waiting for the mining industry in space. Due to the fact that the whole process will take place in conditions of almost zero gravity, it is an important part of the project to investigate the distribution of mining output. All that will take place in a specially designed measurment chamber. Its task is to capture the distribution of output by using a vision system, which will create a map of the particles of the drilling output. The recorded data will be the base for the post-flight analysis.