Laboratory LIBS system with planetary simulation chamber and two excitation lasers (left) and portable LIBS system with laser and sensor head (right)
The core of the laboratory is a LIBS spectrometer equipped with a high power Nd:YAG laser and a low power Nd:YLF laser. The spectrometer is equipped with a planetary simulation chamber which permits simulating environmental conditions on planetary surfaces or the surface of moons or asteroids, including high vacuum and icy surfaces. The environmental conditions which can be adapted to a particular solar system body are pressure (variable from 0.001hPa to 1000hPa, atmospheric constituents, and temperature (variable from 80K to 300K). The laboratory is equipped with preparation facilities for planetary analog materials.
The spectrometer has the following specifications:
Nd:YAG laser: wavelength 1064 nm, pulse energy from 10 to 250 mJ at 8 ns pulse length, repetition rate 10 Hz, spot size on sample <200µm
Nd:YLF laser: wavelength 1053 nm, pulse energy from 0.1 to 3 mJ at 3-5 ns pulse length, repetition rate 10-50 Hz, laser spot size on sample <50 µm
Echelle spectrometer (Aryelle Butterfly): wavelength coverage:175 – 900 nm, spectral resolution < 0.1 nm
Detector: ICCD (Andor) variable time window with integration times from 200 ns to 50 µs
Another LIBS system is currently under construction. This system will be a portable system for field measurements which is based on the ExoMars LIBS laser prototype, a compact, spectrometer and a commercial CCD camera.