Q-Peak’s Compact UV Laser
Q-Peak, Inc. has been awarded a contract from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to advance its in-situ instrument technologies and components focused on the detection of evidence of life in the extra-terrestrial.
Q-Peak is developing a UV laser with very low Size-Weight-and-Power that can be used for laser-desorption-mass-spectroscopy (LDMS) to detect bio-signatures. A miniature LDMS, has been developed for the Mars-Organic-Molecule-Analyzer (MOMA) instrument at NASA-GSFC for the ExoMars mission, expected to launch in 2020. The MOMA instrument has a UV laser that is at least three times bigger in size compared to the Q-Peak laser. The MOMA instrument can be used in future missions to Titan and Europa to study the tholins and icy water. For missions like Europa-lander, a radiation hardened instrument is needed and Q-Peak is making the suitable laser.
NASA applications are in search of life in the extra-terrestrial by detecting organic/inorganic molecules by means of LDMS, laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), laser induced fluorescence (LIF), Raman spectroscopy. With slight variation when operated at high PRF, the laser can be used for lidar, terrain mapping and autonomous rendezvous of satellite. When integrated into a mico mass spectrometer, the instrument can be used for air monitoring and breath analysis for future human habitation in space.
Other communication applications of the Ultra-compact UV laser include advanced research and development and industrial manufacturing such as micro-material processing for the manufacturing of printed circuit boards and electronics. UV lasers are used in biotechnology and medical markets for sterilization and disinfection of devices. UV lasers are also used in cosmetic dentistry mainly to facilitate chemical bonding and bleaching of organic enamels and other procedures. Atomic and molecular spectroscopy and chemical dynamics are additional experimental uses for UV lasers. With the removal of a nonlinear crystal, this laser is suitable for treatment of glaucoma. Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty and Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty use green lasers for glaucoma treatment. They are used to open up the drainage angle of the eye, allowing easier flow of fluid and relieving pressure in the eye.
For more information, contact:
Vice President, Systems
135 South Road
Bedford, MA 01730