KEY PARTNERS

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SPACE

Novel approaches to solar system exploration

Developing new sensor technologies for space exploration is our core expertise.  Our vision is to build a pipeline of scientific and technology development payloads for spaceflight.  From ultra-sensitive laser spectrometers onboard landers and rovers to automated sample capture and analysis tools on flyby spacecraft, our innovations enable resource exploration and scientific discovery on other worlds.

 

LACROSS (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.

 

DiSCO (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.

 

HARPOON (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.

 

MoonSHOT (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.