Q-Peak’s Compact laser for in-situ compositional analysis

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Q-Peak, Inc has been awarded a contract from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to develop a compact, robust, and efficient instrument to combine all laser based spectroscopies capable of performing imaging, Raman, Laser Induced Breakdown, Laser Induced Fluorescence and LIDAR.

The main advantage in using Q-Peak’s suite of instruments is the collection of information from imaging to elemental composition of rock samples by simply directing a laser beam on remote targets of interest. This will address NASA’s need for light-weight and power efficient instruments that enable in situ compositional analysis.

Q-Peak in partnership with the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) is going to design, develop and prototype an instrument called the Compact integrated instrument for Remote Spectroscopy Analysis (CiiRSA) that is capable of at least 10,000 times greater sensitive than the current instrument (ChemCam) in Mars rover. Q-Peak is going to prototype a compact, efficient, rugged and reliable laser when implemented into CiiRSA the overall weight and size are reduced by 30% and 20%.

The CiiRSA has numerous NASA applications especially for missions that seek life in extraterrestrial. Compared with SuperCam, a spectroscopy based elemental analysis instrument selected for Mars 2020 mission, CiiRSA’s resolution is higher and has low size weight and power. Besides being useful in CiiRSA, Q-Peak’s laser has other NASA applications such as in LiDAR systems for atmospheric measurements of aerosol concentrations and distributions, in precision ranging for planetary surface mapping from satellites and other spacecraft in entry descend and landing of space craft, in autonomous rendezvous of space craft, etc. When frequency upconverted to uv and deep-uv, the laser can be used in a variety of other applications such as in the Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer in the ExoMars mission for elemental analysis using laser desorption.

Commercial applications are in portable LIBS systems to replace the current bulky, inefficient, and less reliable lamp-pumped lasers now employed. LIBS, besides having numerous scientific applications in materials characterization, can also be used in industrial applications for process control through monitoring of exhaust streams, analysis of pharmaceuticals, profiling of metals, composition determinations of minerals in mining and detection of contamination in the environment.

For more information, contact:

Eric Park

epark@qpeak.com
Vice President, Systems

Q-Peak, Inc. 135 South Road Bedford, MA 01730 (781) 275-9535