Skip Navigation
SBIR/STTR

Portable spectroscopic scanning electron microscope on ISS: in situ nanostructural/chemical analysis for critical vehicle systems, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

We will construct a novel field-portable miniature analytical electron microscope (EM+EDS) called Mochii "S" for in situ sensing in harsh/remote environments such as orbital and deep space flight. This lightweight, ISS-ready nano-analyzer will provide direct observation and chemical identification of the fine structure and correlated function of materials, contaminants, and biological agents down to the nanoscale. Nanostructural and spectrostropic analyses -- key ground capabilities -- can for the first time be launched with exploration vehicles and operated in-situ by virtue of unprecedented (10-100x) volume and weight reduction over traditional ground-based advanced analytical tools. Benefits include zero-latency nanoscale diagnosis and evolution tracking of previously invisible mission threats (i.e., presenting at the microstructural level and below) facilitating rapid mission team response and novel science. Phase I will demonstrate a system capable of imaging structures well below the diffraction limit of visible light (below 350 nm) concurrent with chemical identification of species via X-ray spectroscopy, at orders of magnitude lower cost, size, and weight than any existing EM system. Native tablet-based wireless control enables remote and concurrent multi-node use, mirroring current orbital mission control systems. The system will achieve TRL 6 and be subsequently improved to be flight-ready (TRL 8+) in Phase II enabling in situ sensing and observation for life support systems, engineering systems, and new science on ISS and Orion spacecraft. More »

Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

Share this Project

Organizational Responsibility

Project Management

Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

Technology Areas

Target Destinations

Light bulb

Suggest an Edit

Recommend changes and additions to this project record.
^