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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Combined Raman/Infrared Reflectance Instrument for In Situ Mineral Analysis

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Combined Raman/Infrared Reflectance Instrument for In Situ Mineral Analysis
NASA's Science Instruments, Observatories, and Sensor Systems Roadmap calls for instruments capable of in situ mineralogical analysis in support of planetary missions in the coming decades. Such instruments will provide capabilities for surveying and identifying minerals on and beneath planetary surfaces, guided by robotic vehicles. These instruments should be highly reliable and compact, be remotely operable and require minimal operating resources. To meet this challenge, the goal of the proposed Phase I program is to develop a combined Raman and infrared fiber optically coupled probe head that can be used for mineral analysis by providing a complete vibrational spectroscopic fingerprint for high quality in situ mineral identification that can be used in a variety of NASA platforms.For the Phase I work, the goal will be to prototype a dual excitation Raman/IR fiber optically coupled microscope probe head and demonstrate its utility in the analysis of minerals.The Phase I Work Plan includes: 1. Prototyping of an Integrated Raman/IR probe head 2. Performance Evaluation of the Integrated Raman/IR Probes 3. Acquisition of a preliminary Raman and IR database, in collaboration with Dr. Robert Downs director of the RRUFF mineralogy project at the University of Arizona More »

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