This web page's content and links are no longer actively maintained. It is available for reference purposes only. NASA Official: Cynthia Cheung

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ANTS: Autonomous NanoTechnology Swarm

MATE (Mining Amorphous Transporter Explorer)

The Tetrahedral Walker as MATE (Mining Amorphous Transporter Explorer) has great potential to increase the feasibility and profitability of mining operations in inaccessible, unexplored areas of extensive mineral deposits.

MATE could support critical operations at each stage of the mining process including: 1) Reconnaissance: identifying promising areas with geological outcrops of potential vien, pipe, or suface deposits; 2) Survey: retrieving from promising sites local measurements or samples for more extensive analysis of markers including associated high silica and sulfur-bearing minerals, and a trace element 'halo' including arsenic, antimony, mercury, thallium and selenium; 3) Supporting mining operations: vein-following along irregular shafts, changing shape, sliding through narrow openings, chimneying up or down vertical faces, conveying ore or equipment in relay fashion.

Deposits or interest include: 1)extended surface ore deposits in exceedingly rough terrain, 2) vertical kimberlite pipes exposed at deep-seated fractures in the continental craton, and 3) metalliferous lodes, including deposits of native gold, silver, or strategic metals, on the continental craton, found in branching veins ranging from centimeters to meters in thickness.


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