Education and Outreach

NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program: In-situ active spectrometry analysis techniques for astrobiology applications

By Keith Cowing
January 5, 2009

We are developing the remote sensing techniques based on combined Raman spectrometer and UV fluorescence instrument suite for biogenic organics detections and characterizations. Our key step is to target the optimal instrument performance based on the systematic laboratory investigation and field- testing. Our measurement goals are: (1) ppm to ppb detection limits for organic molecules from natural samples without exaction or any preparation, (2) characterization of types of organic compounds based on complementary Raman and fluorescent signatures at sufficient detail to indicate possible biological origin. We will also incorporate the ultra sensitive spectroscopy technique for trace detection using surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy. The effort includes laboratory instrument technique and field instrument design with fiber optical probes. Deadline: 5:00 PM EST February 1, 2009.

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻