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Signal optimization and autonomous data selection with Laser Ionization Mass Spectrometry based on CosmOrbitrap for future space missions to ocean worlds

Presentation #104.04 in the session Mission-supporting Practices, Modeling, and Data (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Signal optimization and autonomous data selection with Laser Ionization Mass Spectrometry based on CosmOrbitrap for future space missions to ocean worlds

Ocean worlds are known to have prerequisite ingredients for the emergence of life as we know it. For example, Titan and Enceladus house subsurface liquid water oceans, possess various sources of energy and identification of complex organic compounds have been suggested [1-3]. To enhance unequivocal identification of biosignatures, it is imperative that future astrobiology space mission payloads to high priority targets include High Resolution Mass Spectrometers (HRMS). These instruments will be also challenged by autonomous data acquisition, transfer and transmission to ground. CosmOrbitrap-based laser desorption mass spectrometry (LDMS) [4] instrumentation has demonstrated unprecedented analytical performances by using a wide variety of samples – amino-acid mixtures, pure organic compounds of high molecular weight, multicomponent samples comprising organic and inorganic phases [5-8]. As an extension of CosmOrbitrap technology, the CORALS prototype instrument that recently achieved Technical Readiness Level of 5+ [9] has shown to detect and sequence short peptide biosignatures similar to those observed in cold-living extremophiles on Earth [10].

Considered the voluminous dataset produced by the HRMS instruments and the limited telemetric level of a spacecraft, innovative methods of signal optimization and autonomous data selection are required for LDMS technologies. For this purpose, hundreds of mass spectra were acquired with our set-up on two tripeptides (Leu-Gly-Gly and Phe-Gly-Gly) under various experimental parameters. We identified those producing spectra with the most notable signal-to-noise ratio across a wide range of mass for autonomous signal optimization. We mainly focused on the readily generated ions of interest such as the protonated ions, sodium and potassium adducts and the main fragment ions that inform the identity and structure of peptides. We aim at selecting and prioritizing the most representative scans to satisfy a limited data storage and transmission bandwidth on spacecraft, which will have significant implication to achieve science autonomy with spaceflight payloads in future missions to ocean worlds.

[1] Waite et al., 2007, [2] Waite et al., 2009, [3] Postberg et al.,2018, [4] Briois et al., 2016, [5] Arevalo et al., 2018, [6] Selliez et al., 2019, [7] Selliez et al., 2023, [8] Arevalo et al., 2023, [9] Willhite et al., 2021, [10] Ni et al., 2023

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