Miniature Time of Flight Mass Spectrometer for Space and Extraterrestrial Applications
Using a revolutionary ion-focusing scheme developed at Mississippi State University (provisional patent filed) we will be able to design and build a compact laser based time-of-flight mass spectrometer that is capable of detecting a wide range of masses. Mass resolution of above 104 can be achieved from 300 to c.a. 70,000 Daltons and above 3000 from 20 to 1.5'105 Daltons, making it possible to analyze the majority of molecules of biological interest at high resolution and high sensitivity. Our current estimates for the proposed design results in a volume of less than 0.75 liters, a mass of less than 2 kilograms and requires less than 5 watts of power. This includes the pulse forming electronics for ion extraction. We expect that both the mass and power requirements will actually be lower in the completed device. The device will allow the detection of biologically important molecules in an extraterrestrial or space application. The usable mass range will be from 1 to 1.5'105 Daltons; the design requires minimal tuning over this mass range. This will allow for the detection of most biologically important molecules.
Small Business Information at Submission:
102 White Drive Starkville, MS 39759
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