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18 September 2018 Overview of Phobos/Deimos Regolith Ion Sample Mission (PRISM) concept
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Abstract
Far more definitive information on composition is required to resolve the question of origin for the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos. Current infrared spectra of the objects are inconclusive due to the lack of strong diagnostic features. Definitive compositional measurements of Phobos could be obtained using in-situ X-ray, gamma-ray, or neutron spectroscopy or collecting and returning samples to Earth for analysis. We have proposed, in lieu of those methods, to derive Phobos and Deimos compositional data from secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) measurements by calibrating the instrument to elemental abundance measurements made for known samples in the laboratory. We describe the Phobos/Deimos Regolith Ion Sample Mission (PRISM) concept here. PRISM utilizes a high-resolution TOF plasma composition analyzer to make SIMS measurements by observing the sputtered species from various locations of the moons' surfaces. In general, the SIMS technique and ion mass spectrometers complement and expand quadrupole mass spectrometer measurements by collecting ions that have been energized to higher energies, 50-100 eV, and making measurements at very low densities and pressures. Furthermore, because the TOF technique accepts all masses all the time, it obtains continuous measurements and does not require stepping through masses. The instrument would draw less than 10 W and weigh less than 5 kg. The spacecraft, nominally a radiation-hardened 12U CubeSat, would use a low-thrust Solar Electric Propulsion system to send it on a two-year journey to Mars, where it would co-orbit with Deimos and then Phobos at distances as low as 27 km.
Conference Presentation
© (2018) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Pamela Clark, Michael Collier, Micah Schaible, William M. Farrell, David Folta, Kyle M. Hughes, John W. Keller, Ben Malphrus, Andrew S. Rivkin, Scott Murchie, Dana Hurley, Jasper Halekas, Richard Vondrak, Timothy Stubbs, Rosemary Killen, Menelaos Sarantos, Sarah L. Jones, Jared Espley, and Gina Dibraccio "Overview of Phobos/Deimos Regolith Ion Sample Mission (PRISM) concept", Proc. SPIE 10769, CubeSats and NanoSats for Remote Sensing II, 107690I (18 September 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2322415
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