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Journal Articles Astrobiology Year : 2021

Investigation of Venus Cloud Aerosol and Gas Composition Including Potential Biogenic Materials via an Aerosol-Sampling Instrument Package

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Abstract

A lightweight, low-power instrument package to measure, in situ, both (1) the local gaseous environment and (2) the composition and microphysical properties of attendant venusian aerosols is presented. This Aerosol-Sampling Instrument Package (ASIP) would be used to explore cloud chemical and possibly biotic processes on future aerial missions such as multiweek balloon missions and on short-duration (<1 h) probes on Venus and potentially on other cloudy worlds such as Titan, the Ice Giants, and Saturn. A quadrupole ion-trap mass spectrometer (QITMS; Madzunkov and Nikolic, J Am Soc Mass Spectrom 25:1841-1852, 2014) fed alternately by (1) an aerosol separator that injects only aerosols into a vaporizer and mass spectrometer and (2) the pure aerosol-filtered atmosphere, achieves the compositional measurements. Aerosols vaporized <600 degrees C are measured over atomic mass ranges from 2 to 300 AMU at <0.02 AMU resolution, sufficient to measure trace materials, their isotopic ratios, and potential biogenic materials embedded within H2SO4 aerosols, to better than 20% in <300 s for H2SO4 -relative abundances of 2 x 10(-9). An integrated lightweight, compact nephelometer/particle-counter determines the number density and particle sizes of the sampled aerosols.
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Dates and versions

insu-03343187 , version 1 (15-09-2021)

Licence

Attribution - CC BY 4.0

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Kevin Baines, Dragan Nikolić, James Cutts, Mona Delitsky, Jean-Baptiste Renard, et al.. Investigation of Venus Cloud Aerosol and Gas Composition Including Potential Biogenic Materials via an Aerosol-Sampling Instrument Package. Astrobiology, 2021, 21 (10), ⟨10.1089/ast.2021.0001⟩. ⟨insu-03343187⟩
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