MEMS-based device to analyse lunar water content

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Polychromix has announced a collaboration agreement with Nasa to provide Digital Transform spectrometers for determining water content on the surface of the moon.

Under the agreement, Nasa will outfit the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) with Polychromix near-infrared spectrometers. Nasa chose Polychromix’s technology because of its low power consumption, small size, low weight and reliability – all essential features for mission-critical applications. The Polychromix near-infrared spectrometer will be included in the research vehicle to identify the presence of water ice at the Moon's South Pole. The mission will consist of dropping a payload onto the moon’s South Pole to produce a material cloud that can be analysed.

The existence of lunar ice is a hotly discussed topic. If it exists, astronauts could drink it and use it for rocket fuel. The LCROSS mission will help settle researchers’ ongoing conflicting conclusions and perhaps pave the way for humans' return to the moon.

‘We are honoured that Nasa selected Polychromix’s DTS technology for this exciting endeavour’, said Dan Klevisha, vice president of infrared systems at Polychromix. ‘Our selection for the mission is a testimonial to the breakthrough technology provided by DTS and our commitment to building quality products.’