Powder Handling Device for X-ray Diffraction Analysis with Minimal Sample Preparation

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNA06CQ54C
Agency Tracking Number: 040935
Amount: $50,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: S4.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
PO Box 730, Mountain View, CA, 94042-0730
DUNS: 171216083
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Philippe Sarrazin
 Principal Investigator
 (650) 799-2118
 psarrazin@inxitu.com
Business Contact
 Philippe Sarrazin
Title: Business Official
Phone: (650) 799-2118
Email: psarrazin@inxitu.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
This project consists in developing a Vibrating Powder Handling System for planetary X-Ray Diffraction instruments. The principle of this novel sample handling technique relies on vibrations generated in a sample holder to create movements in the powdered sample. The major benefit over conventional sample handling techniques is the possibility to characterize materials with grain-sizes up to two orders of magnitude larger, with no degradation in the data quality. It allows existing planetary sample-preparation systems such as rock crushers and drills to be used in place of fine-grinding mills normally required for quality XRD analysis. A secondary benefit is that it offers a simple means of loading and removal of samples, with potentially no moving parts. This research will answer a critical need for sample handling devices for conducting definitive mineralogical analyses in the Solar System. The Phase 2 effort will focus on addressing key technical issues in the development of a miniature Vibrating Powder Handling System. This work will lead to a brassboard prototype that can be remotely operated and interfaced to a planetary XRD instrument.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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