April 20, 2017


Details of GAP-GC-CA elements GAP-GC-CA illustration

LATMOS delivered the two autonomous columns, each composed of

  • n injection trap to concentrate target gases before injecting them into the column,
  • Chromatographic columns (CC), designed and chosen for a specific type of gas,
  • A thermal conductivity detector, to detect compounds concentration in the sample on a ppm scale as low as a few percent, prior to the mass-spectrometer analysis, and provide an initial list of gases studied by the column based on its calibration.

These two columns come from the development of the GC realised by the LATMOS for SAM experiment (Sample Analysis at Mars) of MSL mission. The only parts modified compared to SAM-GC experiment (due to the nature of the analytic targets as well as the operation conditions of GAP which could slightly differ from SAM), are the chromatographic columns and the nature od the adsorbants, which correspond to minor modifications.

LATMOS also carried out the final pneumatic assembly of the GC’s subsystems (soldering them together).

Four GAP-GC-CA models were assembled in France and delivered to IKI:

  • One qualification model (QM), delivered to IKI in October 2008;
  • two flight models:
    • FM-01, delivered in late February 2009 to IKI,
    • FM-02, delivered in late July 2009 to IKI;
  • and various subsystems (columns, traps) delivered to IKI to build a Laboratory model (LM) in late 2007/early 2008.