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Center Independent Research & Development: JPL IRAD

iPLUMES - Integrated Planetary Ultra-sensitive Molecular Emission Spectrometer (iPLUMES)

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

The proposed work will lead to a new generation of large-band submillimeter-wave planetary science instruments that can offer a higher science return than any competing approach. This is a high-risk/high-reward approach that will directly enable iPLUMES, an integrated Planetary Ultra-Sensitive Molecular Emission Spectrometer to provide early and reliable detection of plume activity, identify key exospheric molecular species, and measure surface and subsurface thermal gradients of planetary bodies. 

The team is working to develop the Front-End Unit of iPLUMES, an ultra-large band room-temperature integrated high-resolution terahertz radiometer/spectrometer covering the 216-591 GHz band, with a 50% IF bandwidth and 30% improvement in sensitivity due to using an epitaxy wafer structure specifically optimized for this mixer. The receiver will be able to detect simultaneously key species to address habitability in planetary bodies.

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