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Proceedings Paper

Proposed mission for in-situ detection of microorganisms in Low Earth Orbit
Author(s): Gregory A. Konesky
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Paper Abstract

Microorganisms may exist in Low Earth Orbit both from terrestrial sources, and potentially, from extraterrestrial origins. A simple, low cost method for in-situ detection is proposed, suitable for CubeSat and similar micro and nano-satellite implementation. A block of silica aerogel, similar to that used on the highly successful Stardust mission, is used as a collection medium. Edge-wise UV illumination by a LED array, and orthogonal optical emission detection by a photodetector array, is used for identification. The detection process is on-going, and no sample return is required. Potential terrestrial background sources and missions of extraterrestrial opportunity are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 September 2010
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 7819, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XIII, 781917 (7 September 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.860628
Show Author Affiliations
Gregory A. Konesky, K-Plasma Ltd. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7819:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XIII
Richard B. Hoover; Gilbert V. Levin; Alexei Yu. Rozanov; Paul C. W. Davies, Editor(s)

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