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Instrumented Bit for In-Situ Spectroscopy (IBISS), Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

We propose to build and critically test the Instrumented Bit for In-Situ Spectroscopy (IBISS), a novel system for in-situ, rapid analyses of planetary subsurface materials (Fig 2.1). IBISS will provide a rapid and unambiguous chemical/mineralogical characterization of subsurface materials by integrating an innovative, miniature LIBS (laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy) probe with a drill bit. Specifically, we will: 1)Design and assemble an IBISS breadboard system (Mk 1) and validate the optical circuit: Through model simulation and experimental work, we will investigate the performance of the various optical elements. We will determine the figures of merit of the laser, optical fiber, and lenses. We will use COTS or modified COTS for all optical, mechanical, and electronic systems. 2) Design and assemble an IBISS miniaturized system (Mk 2), integrate it with the drill bit, and bench test it: We will perform component integration and system testing. We will determine scientific performance parameters of IBISS and compare them to those of bench-top LIBS instruments and drilling engineering performance metrics. We will use existing, certified/ independently characterized samples of lunar and martian regolith simulant. More »

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