Official:Drills and harvesting tools
Drills and harvesting tools
Several mining methods were developed and tested through the years. Over time only a couple of them proved to be efficient enough for wide scale commercial use. Apart from frequent use of explosives, which are sometimes unreliable, unpredictable and downright dangerous to use, drills are the most commonly used method for effective mining operations. They enable the operator to surgically cut their way through dense, otherwise impenetrable materials and offer easy manipulation when accompanied by harvesting devices.
Most commonly used are crusher drills (rotating head with rows of “teeth”), pressure drills (piercing the asteroid walls by using high pressure points on specific sections of the wall), thermal drills (essentially melting the ores and stone) and laser drills (severing precise portions of the wall into pieces). Drills may be powered electrically or may have their own (most often nuclear) engine, independent from the ship’s main power circuit. Harvesting is subsequently conducted using some of the existing harvesting devices and storing the resources in the cargo module of the craft.