Johns Hopkins APL Gets NASA Funds for Compact Gamma-Ray Spectrometer

research-and-development-RDJohns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory has received $3 million in funds from NASA to advance the development of a miniature, gamma-ray spectrometer for the space agency’s future research missions.

APL said Thursday it will collaborate with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to develop the compact tool, dubbed GeMiNi Plus, under NASA’s Maturation of Instruments for Solar System Exploration program and will base the instrument on the same tool used for the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging mission.

David Lawrence, principal investigator at APL, said the 4.4-pound instrument will work to explore the surface composition of asteroids, comets and other planetary bodies to determine how they form, operate and evolve.

“We plan to incorporate many lessons learned from Messenger and hope to make this miniaturized version of the technology available to a wide range of missions, ” he added.

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