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

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$50,000.00
Award Year:
2006
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
NNA06CQ54C
Agency Tracking Number:
040935
Solicitation Year:
2004
Solicitation Topic Code:
S4.01
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
inXitu
PO Box 730, Mountain View, CA, 94042-0730
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
171216083
Principal Investigator:
Philippe Sarrazin
Principal Investigator
(650) 799-2118
psarrazin@inxitu.com
Business Contact:
Philippe Sarrazin
Business Official
(650) 799-2118
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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