A high-resolution, large mass range cycloidal sector coded aperture miniature mass spectrometer for planetary exploration

Understanding solar system beginnings, searching for the requirements for life, and understanding the workings of solar systems are cross-cutting themes of planetary science research as described in the 2013-2022 Decadal survey [1, 2]. Mass spectrometers have been and continue to be the primary in situ method for analysis of planetary materials to answer priority questions related to the three themes [3-5]. An ideal mass analyzer for planetary exploration would have the characteristics listed below. These capabilities would enable the search for the requirements of life and the study of the solar system and planet formation and evolution in the same instrument.

(1)Mass range from 1 u up to at least 500 u 

(2)Ability to measure stable isotope ratios with high precision (±1 ‰) 

(3)Ability to distinguish between various isobaric species at low mass (<60 u)

Currently, no flight mass spectrometer has all these capabilities. The SR-CAMMS (super-resolution coded aperture miniature mass spectrometer) instrument aims to integrate several unique technologies including spatially coded apertures and super-resolution, carbon nanotube (CNT) field emission electron ionization sources, capacitive transimpedance amplifier (CTIA) array detectors, and cycloidal mass analyzers (Figure 1) to create an instrument with the ideal characteristics for planetary exploration.




 ADDIN EN.REFLIST 1.         Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022. 2011, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

2.         NASA, 2014 Science Plan.

3.         Palmer, P.T. and T.F. Limero, Mass spectrometry in the U.S. space program: past, present, and future. Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, 2001. 12(6): p. 656-675.

4.         Karouia, F., K. Peyvan, and A. Pohorille, Toward biotechnology in space: High-throughput instruments for in situ biological research beyond Earth. Biotechnology Advances, 2017. 35(7): p. 905-932.

5.         Johnson, P.V., L.W. Beegle, and I. Kanik, Mass Spectrometry in Solar System Exploration, in Mass Spectrometry Handbook, M.S. Lee, Editor. 2012, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: New York. p. 391-405.

 This material is based upon work supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Grant No. 80NSSC19K1027 issued through the PICASSO program.