In situ mass spectrometry of planetary surfaces
In the CTI project Development of a highly efficient and miniaturized femtosecond fiber-laser system at kHz repetition rates (KTI-Nr. 17284.1 PFEN-NM) the participation of members of PlanetS supporting the integration of the fibre laser system developed in this CTI project into the Laser Mass Spectrometer (LMS) intended for chemical composition measurements of rocks on the surface of planetary bodies. The integration of this miniature flight-like fibre laser system in the LMS instrument for in situ space research, which is already a representative prototype for flight, provides for an end-to-end test and demonstration of this instrument. Similarly, this end-to-end test is a major step for the start-up company (IONIGHT AG) towards providing portable system for field applications based on mass spectrometry to the market, which does not exist so far.
This will benefit both the space science in the development of competitive instrumentation for planetary research as well as the start-up company IONIGHT AG in providing a field instrument based on mass spectrometry to the market (today field instruments based on optical and IR spectroscopy technique exist).
Role and contribution by the partners
The role and contribution of the PlanetS partner is Engineering support in the design of the dedicated fs-laser optics as well as support in the analysis of the characterisation of the laser and laser-optics performance. Furthermore, provision of the dedicated fs-laser optics components and fibres for the foreseen activities.
The role and contribution of non-PlanetS partners are: support mechanical integration of the fibre systems, development and provision of the fibre laser system, support electronic and software integration and analysis of results.
PlanetS partner: Willy Benz.
NON-PlanetS partners: Peter Wurz (email), Physics Institute, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012 Bern. Main research partner: Manuel Ryser (email), Institute for Applied Physics, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012 Bern. Andreas Riedo, IONIGHT AG, Brüggliweg 18, CH-3073 Gümligen.
Publications and Patents
Intellectual property and questions of patents are handled within the CTI project Development of a highly efficient and miniaturized femtosecond fiber-laser system at kHz repetition rates (KTI-Nr. 17284.1 PFEN-NM).