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Laser-Based Optical Trap for Remote Sampling of Interplanetary and Atmospheric Particulate Matter
Paul Stysley
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

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Phase 1 of this study intends to leverage advances in laser optical trapping technology in order to study the feasibility of a system that could remotely capture a quantity of particulates over a period of time. These particulates would be delivered to instruments on a spacecraft or lander for continual analysis. Therefore, instead of recording data from one pass of an orbiter or being at the mercy of a solid sample inlet, scientists could choose their targets over a wider range, bringing significantly more value to planetary missions.