Leiden Measurement Technology LLC proposes to design and construct the HYMDOL: a high-resolution, compact microscope utilizing a micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) digital micromirror device (DMD) to enable hyperspectral Raman and fluorescence microimaging with sub-micron resolution. HYMDOL will be designed as a rugged, compact instrument, suitable for mission deployments on icy worlds where it could be used for life-detection and mineralogy studies. This technology seeks to replace traditional laser-scanning confocal microscopy as it has the advantage of being able to take traditional full-frame images of a sample using both coherent and incoherent light sources without the need for a second condenser, enabling temporally-resolved imaging and fast, triage imaging capabilities; operates on significantly lower power; and is inherently robust ( DMDs are immune to more than 1500 g shock, 20 g vibration).
The main objectives are to (1) engineer the key subsystems of HYMDOL: including a multi-spectral source integrated with a DMD; (2) build a laboratory breadboard system demonstrating HYMDOL's core functionality; and (3) Define and determine key design requirements for the Phase II instrument. LMT will use Zemax and SolidWorks CAE/CAD/software to engineer the optical system in detail. With these designs, LMT will source and procure a suitable DMD, light source, and other optical elements that will be used to build a breadboard microscope to physically demonstrate the ability to capture hyperspectral microimages.
HYMDOL will have many potential NASA applications, especially as a highly-capable life-detection instrument on icy worlds. With it's ability to perform sub-micron Raman/fluorescence hyperspectral imaging, HYMDOL will be able to identify materials, especially biomarkers, at a scale relevant to microorganisms and life-detection. HYMDOL could also be used as a mineralogical microscope or even on the space station to study biological processes.
There are many non-NASA applications for HYMDOL including characterizing graphene/CNT materials and pharmaceuticals; performing forensics studies; studying mineral (micro-)structures and other geologic applications; studying geomicrobiological systems; characterizing materials; performing medical diagnostics of tissue samples; and working with novel bead-based solid phase suspension arrays.