24 May 2012 Noncontact, reagentless, nondestructive, detection of organics, biosignatures, and water
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Abstract
We present a new active, non-invasive, non-desctructive, in situ spectroscopic method that enable a better understanding of the spatial distribution of microbes, organics, and water on natural surfaces that could support life-detection, organic stability assessment, and in-situ resource utilization missions on planetary bodies. Analytical and spectroscopic methods that have been employed to attempt to address these types of questions provide detection over a limited spatial area, provide either significant false positives/false negatives, or are limited to either morphological or chemical information. Furthermore, apart from the spectroscopic analyses, the methods are limited to invasive treatments that alter the samples or remove critical spatial context. Active spectroscopic methods such Raman and or LIBS have been employed as a means to approach these questions however, traditional Raman scatting is an extremely weak phenomenon and LIBS provides looses information regarding chemical structure. As an alternative, we present the use of deep UV native fluorescence, Raman spectroscopy and hyperspectral imaging from proximity (1-10 cm) to standoff (1-5m). Deep UV native fluorescence, coupled to resonance Raman spectroscopy, can provide a solution that has a means to map large areas with sensitivities to organics, that are expected to be present from meteoritic infall, biosignatures indicating extant or extinct life, and detect the presence of water for in-situ resource utilization. The methodology and the data presented will demonstrate the ability to detect and differentiate organics a natural surface - relevant to Mars and other planetary surfaces, and also elucidate the distribution to enable an understanding of their provenance.
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R. Bhartia, R. Bhartia, William F. Hug, William F. Hug, Ray Reid, Ray Reid, Everett C. Salas, Everett C. Salas, } "Noncontact, reagentless, nondestructive, detection of organics, biosignatures, and water", Proc. SPIE 8385, Sensors and Systems for Space Applications V, 83850E (24 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.921420; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.921420
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