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The Laser Ablation Ion Funnel: Sampling for in situ Mass Spectrometry on MarsA considerable investment has been made by NASA and other space agencies to develop instrumentation suitable for in situ analytical investigation of extra terrestrial bodies including various mass spectrometers (time-of-flight, quadrupole ion trap, quadrupole mass filters, etc.). However, the front-end sample handling that is needed to collect and prepare samples for interrogation by such instrumentation remains underdeveloped. Here we describe a novel approach tailored to the exploration of Mars where ions are created in the ambient atmosphere via laser ablation and then efficiently transported into a mass spectrometer for in situ analysis using an electrodynamic ion funnel. This concept would enable elemental and isotopic analysis of geological samples with the analysis of desorbed organic material a possibility as well. Such an instrument would be suitable for inclusion on all potential missions currently being considered such as the Mid-Range Rover, the Astrobiology Field Laboratory, and Mars Sample Return (i.e., as a sample pre-selection triage instrument), among others.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Johnson, Paul V. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Hodyss, Robert (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Tang, Keqi (Pacific Northwest National Lab. Richland, WA, United States)
Brinckerhoff, William B. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Smith, Richard D. (Pacific Northwest National Lab. Richland, WA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 2011
Publication Information
Publication: Planetary and Space Science
Volume: 59
Issue: 6-May
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
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