Ion mobility spectrometry in space exploration

Paul V. Johnson, Luther W. Beegle, Hugh I. Kim, Gary A. Eiceman, Isik Kanik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) has proven to be an effective tool for chemical detection and identification. Ion mobility spectrometers can be manufactured in small, rugged and portable designs and have been used in several mission critical circumstances from security screening and military preparedness. Perhaps most visible are the IMS analyzers that have been deployed in airports around the world to detect traces of explosives on passenger carry-on luggage. Intrinsic properties of ion mobility spectrometers make these analyzers suitable for both manned and robotic space exploration. In this review, we will discuss the utility, previous use and future use of ion mobility spectrometers in space environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Mass Spectrometry
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Apr 15
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA. Financial support through NASA's ASTID, PIDDP, MIDP and ASTEP programs is gratefully acknowledged.


  • Ion mobility spectrometry
  • Mars
  • NASA
  • Organic compounds
  • Space exploration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Spectroscopy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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