Updated: Aug 25, 2021
Impossible Sensing's project, PERISCOPE, has been selected by NASA for continued development through an SBIR Phase II contract. The follow-on funding to our SBIR Phase I grant will allow our team to build a flight prototype with enhanced sensitivity and size, weight, and power requirements (SWaP) compatible with small landed spacecraft in future missions off-planet. PERISCOPE will help NASA meet its astrobiology goals by identifying organic compounds and biosignatures, water in any form, and rare-earth elements. On Earth, PERISCOPE is a new instrument for ocean science and exploration that we are adapting to survey seafloor habitats, benthic communities, and critical minerals in support of NOAA, USGS, and BOEM goals. Current planetary subsurface investigations are limited to scooping and analyzing drill cuttings (Curiosity), coring and bringing samples back to Earth (Perseverance) or crushing drill-core materials and for analysis (Rosalind Franklin). This approach uses significant resources, involves multiple, complex mechanical interfaces, and risks altering samples. PERISCOPE, however, enables in situ subsurface measurements in a compact package with no need for sampling and no moving parts. It brings a powerful lab to the subsurface, as opposed to bringing subsurface samples to a lab.