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Geochemical Instrument Package Facility - GIPF

Geochemical Instrument Package Facility - GIPF

This suite of scientific instruments is tailored to the requirements of a small mobile surface platform called the Nanokhod rover. The design concept of this rover is based on the maximum reduction of resources like mass, volume and power consumption but still providing mobility to a meaningful scientific instrument package. This has been developed in a parallel project named the Geochemical Instrument Package Facility (GIPF).

The GIPF consists of three payload elements:

  • APXS an Alpha Particle X-ray spectrometer
  • MIMOS2 a Mössbauer spectrometer
  • MIROCAM a micro-camera with LED illumination and variable focus

The GIPF instrument package mounted on a shaker during vibration test

This suite of instruments builds a complementary set of analytical methods to analyse rock and soil samples. While the APXS determines the chemical composition of the main rock forming elements, the MIMOS2 identifies the iron bearing minerals in that sample. The camera provides images of the sampled area. The LED illumination at various wavelengths provides additional information on the mineralogical composition.

Among the key objectives of this development was the further miniaturization of the instrument front end in order to fit into the payload compartment of the Nanokhod rover. The dimensions of the whole package are 145 mm × 60 mm × 50 mm. The analogue backend electronics has been replaced by digital readout. This includes digital algorithms for the data acquisition and signal shaping for the spectrometers.

The integrated instrument package has been tested at very low temperatures down to -183 °C. A general qualification below -140 °C could be achieved for the whole system while the spectrometer detectors still provide satisfying results at the lowest temperatures.

The whole system is currently running at SCI-A laboratories for further testing and improvement on component level.

Prime Contractor
Von Hoerner & Sulger GmbH Schwetzingen, Germany

Sub Contractor
G. Klingelhöfer, Universität Mainz, Germany
H. Michaelis, DLR Berlin, Germany
R. Rieder, MPI Mainz, Germany

Last Update: 1 September 2019
23-Sep-2020 05:38 UT

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