7 September 2010 Planetary protection protocol using multi-jet cold plasma decontamination
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Abstract
The detection of extraterrestrial life in-situ assumes that a positive indication is the result of an indigenous life form, and not the result of forward contamination from Earth. Atmospheric discharge cold plasma jets have proven effective in the decontamination of a wide range of microorganisms, including Deinococcus radiodurans, through multiple modes of action, yet the effect is relatively gentle on surfaces being decontaminated. An individual plasma jet may have a beam diameter of only a few millimeters, requiring extensive decontamination time for a given surface area. Techniques are discussed for assembling large area multi-jet arrays, and their mechanisms of decontamination. Application to back contamination in sample return missions is also considered.
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Gregory A. Konesky, "Planetary protection protocol using multi-jet cold plasma decontamination", Proc. SPIE 7819, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XIII, 78190L (7 September 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.855561; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.855561
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