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SBIR/STTR

An Infrared Fiber-Optic Raman Sensor for Field Detecting of Organic Biomarkers, Phase II

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An Infrared Fiber-Optic Raman Sensor for Field Detecting of Organic Biomarkers, Phase II
The search for organics on Mars remains a key objective for future missions. However current instruments for detailed organic analysis require complex sample handling and can process only a limited number of samples. To allow for rapid sample characterization, the in situ non-destructive Raman detection technique is a highly desirable sensing tool for both qualitative and quantitative analysis. However, current Raman systems deployed in the field are inadequate due to deleterious fluorescence interference. Fluorescence is often several orders of magnitude more intense than Raman scattering signals and its broad structures spectrum could be difficult to remove from Raman spectra. We propose to develop a rover-mounted infrared fiber-optic Raman sensor that can eliminate fluorescence with significantly improved Raman sensitivity for fast field detections. The infrared fiber-optic Raman sensor is based on recent technology advances in fiber lasers, fiber optic Raman probes and infrared detector arrays. Innovative infrared fiber-optic Raman sensor enables highly sensitive fluorescence-free Raman analysis and offers flexible remote detection, so that the field spectral sensor's overall performance would be intact and extremely flexible for planetary missions. We will deliver a rover-mounted infrared fiber-optic Raman sensor to NASA at the end of Phase II program. More »

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