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Response of QIT-MS to Noble Gas Isotopic Ratios in a Simulated Venus Flyby

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
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Atmosphere 2019, 10(5), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10050232
Received: 26 March 2019 / Revised: 26 April 2019 / Accepted: 28 April 2019 / Published: 30 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modeling and Simulation of Planetary Atmospheres)
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Abstract

The primary objective of the present study is to investigate the science return of future Venus atmosphere probe mission concepts using the Quadrupole Ion Trap (QIT) Mass Spectrometer (MS) Instrument (QIT-MS-I). We demonstrate the use of Monte-Carlo simulations in determining the optimal ion trapping conditions and focus the analysis on retrieving isotope ratios of noble gases in the model sample of the Venus atmosphere. Sampling takes place at a constant velocity of ~10 km/s between 112–110 km altitude and involves the use of getter pumps to remove all chemically-active species, retaining inert noble gases. The enriched sample is leaked into passively pumped vacuum chamber where it is analyzed by the QIT-MS sensor (QIT-MS-S) for 40 minutes. The simulated mass spectrum, as recorded by the QIT-MS-S, is deconvoluted using random walk algorithm to reveal relative abundances of noble gas isotopes. The required precision and accuracy of the deconvolution method is benchmarked against the a priori known model composition of the atmospheric sample. View Full-Text
Keywords: mass spectrometry; isotope ratios; noble gases mass spectrometry; isotope ratios; noble gases
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Nikolić, D.; Madzunkov, S.M.; Darrach, M.R. Response of QIT-MS to Noble Gas Isotopic Ratios in a Simulated Venus Flyby. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 232.

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