13 May 2015 Planetary atmospheres minor species sensor balloon flight test to near space
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Abstract
The Planetary Atmospheres Minor Species Sensor (PAMSS) is an intracavity laser absorption spectrometer that uses a mid-infrared quantum cascade laser in an open external cavity for sensing ultra-trace gases with parts-per-billion sensitivity. PAMSS was flown on a balloon by Near Space Corporation from Madras OR to 30 km on 17 July 2014. Based on lessons learned, it was modified and was flown a second time to 32 km by World View Enterprises from Pinal AirPark AZ on 8 March 2015. Successes included continuous operation and survival of software, electronics, optics, and optical alignment during extreme conditions and a rough landing. Operation of PAMSS in the relevant environment of near space has significantly elevated its Technical Readiness Level for trace-gas sensing with potential for planetary and atmospheric science in harsh environments.
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Robert E. Peale, Christopher J. Fredricksen, Andrei V. Muraviev, Douglas Maukonen, Hajrah M. Quddusi, Seth Calhoun, Joshua E. Colwell, Timothy A. Lachenmeier, Russell G. Dewey, Alan Stern, Sebastian Padilla, Rolfe Bode, "Planetary atmospheres minor species sensor balloon flight test to near space", Proc. SPIE 9491, Sensors for Extreme Harsh Environments II, 94910G (13 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2176621; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2176621
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