American Society of Civil Engineers


Enabling the Next Generation of Spaceborne Quadrupole Mass Spectrometers


by D. J. Gershman, (Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA E-mail: djgersh@umich.edu), M. Rubin, (Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA E-mail: rubinmar@umich.edu), B. P. Block, (Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA E-mail: bpblock@umich.edu), M. Benna, (Solar Systems Exploration Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA E-mail: mehdi.benna-1@nasa.gov), P. R. Mahaffy, (Solar Systems Exploration Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA E-mail: paul.r.mahaffy@nasa.gov), and T. H. Zurbuchen, (Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA E-mail: thomasz@umich.edu)
Section: Symposium 2: Exploration and Utilization of Extraterrestrial Bodies, pp. 393-402, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/9780784412190.043)

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Earth and Space 2012: Engineering, Science, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environments
Abstract: The quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) has over 30 years of spaceflight heritage in making important neutral gas and low energy ion observations. Given their geometrical constraints, these instruments are currently operated at the extreme limit of their capabilities. However, a technique called higher order auxiliary excitation provides a set of novel, robust, electronics-based solutions for improving the performance of these sensors. By driving the quadrupole rods with an additional frequency nearly twice that of the normal RF operating frequency, substantially increased abundance sensitivity, maximum attainable mass resolution, and peak stability can be achieved through operation of voltage scan lines through the center of formed upper stability islands. Such improvements are modeled using numerical simulations of ion trajectories in a quadrupole field with and without applied higher order auxiliary excitation. When compared to a traditional QMS with a mass range up to 500Da, sensors can be designed with the same precision electronics to have expected mass ranges beyond 1500Da with a power increase of less than twice that of its heritage implementations.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Space exploration
Spacecraft