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Miniature GC-Minicell Ion Mobility Spectrometer (IMS) for In Situ Measurements in Astrobiology Planetary MissionsAstrobiology flight experiments require highly sensitive instrumentation for in situ analysis of volatile chemical species and minerals present in the atmospheres and surfaces of planets, moons, and asteroids. The complex mixtures encountered place a heavy burden on the analytical instrumentation to detect and identify all species present. The use of land rovers and balloon aero-rovers place additional emphasis on miniaturization of the analytical instrumentation. In addition, smaller instruments, using tiny amounts of consumables, allow the use of more instrumentation and/or ionger mission life for stationary landers/laboratories. The miniCometary Ice and Dust Experiment (miniCIDEX), which combined Gas Chromatography (GC) with helium Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS), was capable of providing the wide range of analytical information required for Astrobiology missions. The IMS used here was based on the PCP model 111 IMS. A similar system, the Titan Ice and Dust Experiment (TIDE), was proposed as part of the Titan Orbiter Aerorover Mission (TOAM). Newer GC systems employing Micro Electro- Mechanical System (MEMS) based technology have greatly reduced both the size and resource requirements for space GCs. These smaller GCs, as well as the continuing miniaturization of Astrobiology analytical instruments in general, has highlighted the need for smaller, dry helium IMS systems. We describe here the development of a miniature, MEMS GC-IMS system (MEMS GC developed by Thorleaf Research Inc.), employing the MiniCell Ion Mobility Spectrometer (IMS), from Ion Applications Inc., developed through NASA's Astrobiology Science and Technology Instrument Development (ASTID) Program and NASA s Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Kojiro, Daniel R.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Stimac, Robert M.
(Ion Applications, Inc. Lake Worth, FL, United States)
Kaye, William J.
(Ion Applications, Inc. Lake Worth, FL, United States)
Holland, Paul M.
(Thorleaf Research, Inc. Santa Barbara, CA, United States)
Takeuchi, Norishige
(EASI, Inc. Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2006
Subject Category
Meeting Information
Meeting: 15th International Conference on Ion Mobility Spectrometry
Location: Honolulu, HI
Country: United States
Start Date: July 23, 2006
End Date: July 28, 2006
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