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Center Independent Research & Development: GSFC IRAD

A Micro-Cylindrical Ion Trap (µ-CIT) Micro-Mass Spectrometer Instrument System (µ-MSIS) for NASA Planetary Exploration

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

The goal of this follow-on early stage innovation activity is to advance the development of new, extremely small, low power, and low cost “micro” mass spectrometer instrument systems (μMSIS) through the application of MEMS design and fabrication, and microsystem component integration and packaging, toward deployment on distributed planetary payload platforms. This work attains significant early impact due to our recently-awarded ASTID project (van Amerom et al.), to develop the core chip-based micro cylindrical ion trap (μ-CIT) mass analyzer at GSFC. In particular, this work will enable early, coincident design and development of the critical microsystem integration and packaging that is required to achieve the final level of miniaturization offered by this core μ-CIT technology. We therefore propose to develop a MEMS μMSIS packaging concept that is modular and flexible to further integration of a micro gas chromatograph, micro vacuum chamber and microelectronic components, into a complete instrument system.

This activity will significantly increase the fidelity of the miniaturized component packaging of the μ-CIT mass spectrometer assembly. Our design approach emphasizes the smallest feasible footprint, combining MEMS MS component integration, and the use of ultra-high vacuum (UHV) materials. This activity will significantly increase the fidelity of the miniaturized component packaging of the μ-CIT mass spectrometer assembly. Our design approach emphasizes the smallest feasible footprint, combining MEMS MS component integration, and the use of ultra-high vacuum (UHV) materials and techniques for fabrication of the final package. Final package systems designs and component parts have been fabricated using micro fabrication capabilities and MEMS processing. Assembly and integration of the package takes advantage of existing packaging expertise, materials, and tooling. The component packaging system will be evaluated for form, function, outgassing, and vibration here at GSFC.

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Technology Maturity (TRL)

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