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Compact laser for in-situ compositional analysis, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

In response to NASA's solicitation for light-weight and power efficient instruments that enable in situ compositional analysis, Q-Peak in partnership with the University of Hawaii proposes to develop a compact, robust, and efficient instrument to combine all laser based spectroscopies capable of performing imaging, Raman, Laser Induced Breakdown, Laser Induced Fluorescence and LIDAR The main advantage in using this suite of instruments is the collection of information from imaging to elemental composition of rock samples by simply directing a laser beam on remote targets of interest. Based on the success of the current Mars Science Laboratory rover instrument ChemCam, the first ever laser-based spectrographic system to be selected as an instrument on a NASA spacecraft, the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) has developed and tested a prototype instrument. This new instrument is capable of at least 10,000 times greater sensitivity than the ChemCam instrument, allowing faster measurements up to 8 m away with a focused laser beam. This integrated, compact remote instrument is called the Compact integrated instrument for Remote Spectroscopy Analysis (CiiRSA). Replacing the existing laser with the Q-Peak proposed laser will reduce CiiRSA's weight by 30 % and volume by 20 %. In Phase I, Q-Peak will design, develop and build a laser that will produce 1-2 mJ of energy in < 2 ns pulse duration at 1047 nm and our partner HIGP will characterize the CiiRSA instrument at the anticipated energy and wavelength of the full system (5 mJ at 523 nm) to understand the ranging and performance of the final system. In Phase II, Q-Peak is proposing an ultra-compact laser with 10 cm3 in volume that will produce > 5 mJ, < 2 ns duration pulses at 523 nm at repetition rates from single-shot to 100 Hz. The entire laser system will be integrated into a suite of instruments that our partner at HIGP has developed to reduce the overall SWaP of the CiiRSA system. More »

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