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Maturation of Instruments for Solar System Exploration

Maturing the CODEX Strontium Laser Subsystem to TRL 6

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

Maturing the CODEX Strontium Laser Subsystem to TRL 6

Under PIDDP, NSF, and internal funding, we have developed an instrument to search for evidence of past life on Mars, to reveal the history of habitability, and to ascertain how the local geology evolved. To validate our dating method, we developed and successfully demonstrated 1st and 2nd generation instruments (one bench-top, and one portable), and successfully produced custom, miniature, solid-state, discrete optics laser systems for desorption, and resonance of Rb and Sr. However, recent advances in fiber laser design allow us to produce resonance laser systems with 0.5X the input power, 4X more output power, 3X lower mass, and 10X fewer optical interfaces; reducing the number of optical interfaces is crucial to reducing alignment and contamination requirements. This proposal seeks to implement and test the fiber laser technology, raising its TRL from 4 to 6.

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