SMART SENSORS THAT WORK.
Impossible's team of scientists and engineers works together with partners at space agencies, educational institutions and private enterprise to support active missions and develop novel concepts for space exploration. We push past the cutting-edge and into the impossible.
LOW SWaP REQUIREMENTS
FIRST-OF-KIND SENSOR TECH
RUGGEDIZED FOR OFF-WORLD MAKING
NASA SBIR PH II Selections: 2020
(Dual In-situ Spectroscopy and Coring) is the first instrument that boasts integrated drilling-coring-caching, imaging, and laser spectroscopic mapping systems (Raman, LIBS, and fluorescence). The instrument provides unprecedented analytics with a minimized need for resources enabling novel mission architectures with coring + analysis + caching capabilities offered within a single arm-mounted instrument.
(High Access Raman Probe with Onboard Optical Numerization) uses an innovative combination of adaptive spatial coding optics and detector that enables unique measurements: in-situ chemical identification and sub-ppb quantitation of complex organic compounds; biomolecules; minerals; salts; volatiles. HARPOON enhances the sensitivity of planetary Raman instruments by several orders of magnitude.
In addition to developing scientific instruments and technologies for future space missions, our team actively supports daily mission operations of NASA's Mars 2020 and European Space Agency's (ESA) ExoMars rovers. Our ground instruments provide
state-of-the-art testing and support for two instruments onboard NASA's Perserverance rover, SHERLOC and SuperCam, and the RLS Raman spectrometer instrument onboard ESA's Rosalind Franklin rover.
When NASA's Perseverance rover lands on the Red Planet in February, 2021, it will use SHERLOC to seek signs of past microbial life and characterize the planet's climate and geology. It is the first rover ever to carry a drill for coring samples from Martian rocks and soil. The recovered samples will be left on Mars to be recovered in a later mission. The Rosalind Franklin rover's RLS instrument will use Raman spectroscopy to characterize mineralogical composition and identify biomarkers such as organic pigments on the planet's surface.
NASA's Perseverance Rover inspecting a rocky outcropping
Perseverance is scheduled to launch in July 2020 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida while ExoMars will launch in 2022.
ESA's Rosalind Franklin Rover
(Life Analysis, Capture, and Retention on an Orbiting Saturn Spacecraft) is a next-gen sample collection and management system that collects atmospheric (Venus, Titan) and plume particles (Enceladus, Europa) during fly-throughs, analyzing them in-situ. Analyses are performed directly on captured samples, using customized surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy methods.
(Moon Subsurface Hydrogen Optical Tool) characterizes and maps lunar resources from a small lander or rover. MoonSHOT aims and releases a fiber-tethered penetrator into regolith up to 100 m away from the landed craft and down to 5 cm. Once the probe is in place, a laser illuminates a sample, and scattered (Raman) and emitted (LIBS) light are collected and relayed to the spectrometer. The probe is then reeled in. Using our novel architecture, MoonSHOT can be repeatedly deployed from a fixed lander or small mobile rover.