Raman spectroscopy on Mars

Identification of geological and bio-geological signatures in Martian analogues using miniaturized Raman spectrometers

Ian B. Hutchinson*, Richard Ingley, Howell G. M. Edwards, Liam Harris, Melissa McHugh, Cedric Malherbe, J. Parnell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The first Raman spectrometers to be used for in situ analysis of planetary material will be launched as part of powerful, rover-based analytical laboratories within the next 6 years. There are a number of significant challenges associated with building spectrometers for space applications, including limited volume, power and mass budgets, the need to operate in harsh environments and the need to operate independently and intelligently for long periods of time (due to communication limitations). Here, we give an overview of the technical capabilities of the Raman instruments planned for future planetary missions and give a review of the preparatory work being pursued to ensure that such instruments are operated successfully and optimally. This includes analysis of extremophile samples containing pigments associated with biological processes, synthetic materials which incorporate biological material within a mineral matrix, planetary analogues containing low levels of reduced carbon and samples coated with desert varnish that incorporate both geo-markers and biomarkers.We discuss the scientific importance of each sample type and the challenges using portable/flight-prototype instrumentation. We also report on technical development work undertaken to enable the next generation of Raman instruments to reach higher levels of sensitivity and operational efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalPhilosophical transactions of the royal society a-Mathematical physical and engineering sciences
Volume372
Issue number2030
Early online date3 Nov 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2014

Fingerprint

Mars
Raman Spectroscopy
Raman
Spectrometer
mars
Raman spectroscopy
Spectrometers
Signature
signatures
spectrometers
analogs
Analogue
Varnish
Space applications
Biomarkers
varnishes
Instrumentation
Period of time
Pigments
Biological materials

Keywords

  • Astrobiology
  • Biomolecular signatures
  • Carbonaceous matter
  • Planetary exploration
  • Portable Raman
  • Raman spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

Raman spectroscopy on Mars : Identification of geological and bio-geological signatures in Martian analogues using miniaturized Raman spectrometers. / Hutchinson, Ian B.; Ingley, Richard; Edwards, Howell G. M.; Harris, Liam; McHugh, Melissa; Malherbe, Cedric; Parnell, J.

In: Philosophical transactions of the royal society a-Mathematical physical and engineering sciences, Vol. 372, No. 2030, 13.12.2014, p. 1-13.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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