6 February 2020 – Next Club Meeting
An Astronomy Guest Speaker Series Event – a collaboration of the Astronomy Club of Asheville and UNC-Asheville
Thursday night, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. – In the Reuter Center’s Manheimer Room, located on the UNC Asheville campus. The meeting is free and open to the general public.
“Astrobiology: One group’s search for the chemical signatures of life on Earth and beyond” – presented by Amanda Stockton, Ph.D., Georgia Tech
Highly sensitive organic analysis is key to understanding the processes that shape an extraterrestrial location, its potential habitability, and whether it could host life presently or in the past. However, some extraterrestrial locations, like those of the surface of icy moons, are challenging to access with a soft lander, making high-impact kinetic penetrators an attractive mission platform. Laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) detection systems and microfluidic devices provide highly sensitive organic analysis. However, neither have been developed for high-impact performance.
Dr. Stockton will share the development of an impact-robust optical stack for laser-induced fluorescence detection, tested and demonstrated to survive impacts at 12,000 g, 25,000 g, and 50,000 g. This work proves that optical detection systems, including those for highly sensitive laser-induced fluorescence detection, can be made robust to the high impacts of a kinetic penetrator.