The Terra portable XRD/XRF, which is a commercial version of the Ames CheMin instrument that is on the Mars Science Laboratory mission, was awarded the Gold medal as “Best New Product” at the 2009 PITCON conference this week. PITCON is the largest commercial instrument conference in the world.
Terra is offered by inXitu, Inc., a Mountain View company started by Philippe Sarrazin, a former NASA Postdoctoral Fellow at Ames. Terra uses technology established by two NASA/ARC patents and was developed in part through NASA SBIR programs administered at Ames.
Terra has been actively used in a number of terrestrial field expeditions by NASA, including 3 campaigns in the high arctic (Spitsbergen), Scarab/RESOLVE ISRU on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, the dry valleys of Antarctica, Death Valley, CA and Canada. Most recently, Terra was deployed during the EuroGeoMars campaign at MDRS Utah by the European Space Agency.
Information about the award, voted on by 200 technology editors, can be seen at: