23 September 1994 Advanced instrumentation for exobiology
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Abstract
Advanced microdevices for the exploration of the solar system have become increasingly important in the current environment of fiscal constraints and payload size limitations. The Discovery-class missions being proposed for future exploration, while being clearly responsive to this environment, will require highly miniaturized and efficient instruments based on these advanced devices. Several instrument concept developments are continuing at Ames Research Center in support of specific exobiology science goals in future solar system studies on candidate Discovery and other missions. Developments include highly miniaturized metastable ionization detectors for gas chromatography that weight as little as 1 - 2 grams with sensitivities of 10-14 mol/second and an advanced ion mobility spectrometer that has near-universal sensitivity and weighs as little as 200 grams. New chemical sensors based on solid-state pyroelectric devices are being studied and developed that weigh a few milligrams and, for example, have a sensitivity of 0.1 ppm for H2O2. Advanced X- ray diffraction and fluorescence instruments for crystallographic and geochemical measurements on unprepared soil and rock samples are under test. A stable isotope laser diode spectrometer for determination of 12C/13C and 18O/16O isotope ratios on Mars at fractional percent accuracies has been breadboarded. Finally, advanced computational methods are being applied to new instrument concepts allowing new, less complex, and thus, smaller instruments.
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Glenn C. Carle, Dan R. Kojiro, Todd B. Sauke, Jose R. Valentin, Thomas C. Shen, John R. Marshall, "Advanced instrumentation for exobiology", Proc. SPIE 2267, Advanced Microdevices and Space Science Sensors, (23 September 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.187464; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.187464
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