Volatile Characterisation Instrumentation for ISRU applications

Sheridan, Simon; Morse, Andrew; Barber, S. J.; Schwanethal, James; Biswas, Janos; Reiss, P; Raganaz, M and Richter, Lutz (2019). Volatile Characterisation Instrumentation for ISRU applications. In: Space Resources Workshop, 10-11 Oct 2019, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.


Key to the success of any future mission(s) aimed at prospecting and extracting lunar volatiles is the availability of miniaturised instruments to identify and characterise the volatile inventory on and below the lunar surface. We will discuss two instruments, which are in development under the EU funded Lunar Volatiles Mobile Instrumentation (LUVMI) for this purpose and primarily aim at rover platforms: 1) The LUVMI Volatiles Analyser (VA), a TRL5 ion trap mass spectrometer based upon the Ptolemy flight-proven instrument. This is a low mass, compact and mechanically simple device capable of rapid detection of masses in the range of 10 to 200 m/z, enabling the rapid detection of volatiles, including water that may be released during regolith heating or during ISRU processing. 2) The LUVMI MMS, a TRL3 Miniature Magnetic Sector mass spectrometer with improved sensitivity over the ion trap mass spectrometer. The MMS will also address the limitations of on trap mass spectrometer by allowing direct measurement of H and 2H, allowing D/H ratio measurements to be done simultaneously with measurement of H2O during regolith heating or during ISRU processing.

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