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Proceedings Paper

Miniaturized GC/MS instrumentation for in situ measurements: micro gas chromatography coupled with miniature quadrupole array and Paul ion trap mass spectrometers
Author(s): Paul M. Holland; Ara Chutjian; Murray R. Darrach; Otto J. Orient
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Paper Abstract

Miniaturized chemical instrumentation is needed for in situ measurements in planetary exploration and other spaceflight applications where factors such as reduction in payload requirements and enhanced robustness are important. In response to this need, we are continuing to develop miniaturized GC/MS instrumentation which combines chemical separations by gas chromatography (GC) with mass spectrometry (MS) to provide positive identification of chemical compounds in complex mixtures of gases, such as those found in the International Space Station's cabin atmosphere. Our design approach utilizes micro gas chromatography components coupled with either a miniature quadrupole mass spectrometer array (QMSA) or compact, high-resolution Paul ion trap. Key design issues include high sensitivity, good MS resolution (0.5 amu FWHM or better), low power, robustness, low GC flow rates to minimize vacuum-pumping requirements, and the use of a modular approach to adapt to different environments. Among the potential applications for such instrumentation are in situ detection of astrobiology signatures (using air sampling or ground-drilling techniques), planetary aeronomy, and monitoring of cabin air during duration human flight.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 July 2003
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 4878, First Jet Propulsion Laboratory In Situ Instruments Workshop, (25 July 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.520539
Show Author Affiliations
Paul M. Holland, Thorleaf Research, Inc. (United States)
Ara Chutjian, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Murray R. Darrach, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Otto J. Orient, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4878:
First Jet Propulsion Laboratory In Situ Instruments Workshop

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