Li, X., Brinckerhoff, W. B., Managadze, G. G., Pugel, D. E., Corrigan, Catherine M., and Doty, J. H. 2012. "Laser Ablation Mass Spectrometer (LAMS) as a Standoff Analyzer in Space Missions for Airless Bodies." International Journal of Mass Spectrometry 323-324:63-67. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijms.2012.06.020
A laser ablation mass spectrometer (LAMS) based on a time-of-flight (TOF) analyzer with adjustable drift length is proposed as a standoff elemental composition sensor for space missions to airless bodies. It is found that the use of a retarding potential analyzer in combination with a two-stage reflectron enables LAMS to be operated at variable drift length. For field-free drift lengths between 33 cm to 100 cm, at least unit mass resolution can be maintained solely by adjustment of internal voltages, and without resorting to drastic reductions in sensitivity. Therefore, LAMS should be able to be mounted on a platform or robotic arm and analyze samples at standoff distances of up to several tens of cm, permitting high operational flexibility and wide area coverage of heterogeneous regolith on airless bodies.