5:15 PM - 6:30 PM
[PPS02-P04] Fluorescence Life-Time (FLiT) instrument for space missions
Keywords:Fluorescence life-time, Martian life, Life-detection microscope
The pulse laser of FLiT is a 488-nm laser diode (Nichia NDS4116) to which pulses of 1-ns full width at half maximum is fed by the driver electronics. One pulse may excite just one fluorophore and the photon from it will be detected by an avalanche photo diode (APD) in the photon-counting mode (MPPC C13001-01 from Hamamatsu Photonics). The time delay from the start trigger (1-ns pulse) to the stop trigger (photon detection in MPPC) is measured by the time-to-digital converter (TDC7200 from TI). Such measurement will be repeated and a histogram of delays is obtained from which the fluorescence life-time of the sample material is inferred. This potentially allows us to distinguish organisms from minerals in the Martian soil. The FLiT BBM is now under the characterization phase, to evaluate possible delays in the electronics (including cables) and their stability. Details of the FLiT BBM as well as results of initial tests will be presented.