Wasatch Photonics Technology to be Used for Mission to Mars

West Lafayette, Ind., Logan, Utah, Durham, N.C. and Madrid

Technology from Wasatch Photonics, Inc., an optical imaging company, will be used to help meet the technological and scientific objectives of a mission to Mars.

Madrid-based Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aeroespacial, a public research organization specializing in aerospace research and technology development, will contribute to the ExoMars mission in 2018, with an instrument that uses Raman spectroscopy. The Mission is led by the European Space Agency with contributions from Russia. Its objectives are detecting possible evidence of past or present life on Mars, and to garner insights into the history of water on the planet.

Gerald Heidt, CEO of Wasatch Photonics, said using our proprietary technology, Wasatch Photonics manufactures high-performance Volume Phase Holographic Gratings. These gratings have low polarization dependence, high dispersion and high diffraction efficiencies. They are used in creating high throughput spectrometers with the lowest limit of detection. The Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aeroespacial will use this technology on a compact, yet highly efficient Raman spectrometer Instrument for the mission. Dr. Fernando Rull is the Principal Investigator for this project.

Once on Mars’ surface, a drill in the ExoMars Rover will collect samples up to two meters beneath the Martian surface. The samples will be crushed into a fine powder and studied inside the rover’s analytical laboratory.

“A Raman laser spectrometer will analyze these samples, obtaining information about their mineralogy and chemical composition, and detect possible organic compounds,” Heidt said.

Read more about it here: http://www.ksl.com/?sid=28372422

About Wasatch Photonics, Inc.

Founded in 2002, Wasatch Photonics, Inc. designs, manufactures and markets high-performance Raman spectrometers, Optical Coherence Tomography systems, and enhanced holographic optics for optical networking, spectroscopy, test and measurement, and medical imaging applications. Their high-performance Volume Holographic Optic Elements and gratings are used in a diverse set of industries, including those in the defense and security, chemical manufacturing, pharmaceutical, medical, energy, education, computer, and electronics markets. Their products are based on proprietary holographic recording media and processing technologies.

December 18, 2013