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Strofio: Improving the Signal-to-Noise Ratio of In-Situ Mass Spectrometers

Presentation #116.12 in the session Mercury (Poster)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Strofio: Improving the Signal-to-Noise Ratio of In-Situ Mass Spectrometers

In-situ mass spectrometry is governed by the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) within a target environment. Technological advancements continue to improve overall sensitivity and resolution but background noise continues to be the limiting factor for future exploration. In space-based applications, noise is generated through outgassing of the spacecraft or instrument and varies depending on the proximity to the Sun. This is particularly difficult when studying tenuous atmospheres, like the exosphere of Mercury, where the number density of a target species is less than the number density of outgassing constituents. To mitigate this problem either a filtration system is needed or the outgassing rate needs to be characterized and accounted for during data analysis. Strofio is a neutral mass spectrometer and payload on the BepiColombo mission, equipped with a one-of-a-kind velocity filter to study the exosphere of Mercury. We will present the latest advances in optimizing the velocity filter prior to orbital insertion.

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