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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Remote UV Fluorescence Lifetime Spectrometer

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Remote UV Fluorescence Lifetime Spectrometer
In-situ studies of the rocks, minerals, and soil on the Moon's surface provide a wealth of information during field geology and the mining phase for planetary resource identification. Sensitive optical spectroscopic instruments such as X-ray fluorescence spectrometers coupled with UV fluorescence spectroscopy is vital for lunar science. Many moon rock samples contain mineral oxides in the forms of Al2O3, TiO2, FeO, MnO, MgO, Cr2O3, Na2O and CaO. Further tests have shown that some of them exhibit fluorescence when exposed to UV light. Traditional UV fluorescence spectroscopy used in analysis of organic and inorganic materials utilizes power hungry, bulky lasers. Recently introduced UV-LED and semiconductor UV lasers with powers > 10 mW are small, reliable, and power efficient making them ideal for use in space exploration. Redondo Optics Inc, a world leader in design and development of fluorescent scientific instruments, proposes to develop a highly innovative and sensitive, light-weight, hand-held space qualified frequency domain fluorescence lifetime measurement system for NASA using heterodyne cross correlation technique. The instrument also includes an ultra miniature 340-780 nm spectrophotometer. The combined spectrometer utilizes lowest power COTS electronics components for fast and accurate estimation of fluorescence lifetimes to identify the rocks spectral signature. More »

Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

Technology Transitions

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.