Leiden Measurement Technology (LMT) is partnering with Georgia Institute of Technology and Stone Aerospace for the NASA-funded ASTEP project, SIMPLE (Sub-ice Investigation of Marine and Planetary-analog Ecosystems). LMT is designing and manufacturing the Protein Fluorescence Spectrometer, a stand-off fluorescence spectrometer designed to detect bacterial life living at the sea-ice interface underneath the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica.
SIMPLE is a NASA ASTEP project awarded to PI Professor Britney Schmidt of the Georgia Institute of Technology. The project's goal is to study the explore and characterize the McMurdo ice shelf as a proxy for a mission to Europa. The central goal of SIMPLE is to understand how the ice and ocean interact with one another and how life could be supported at the ice-water interface.
One of the central components of this project is the deployment of ARTEMIS, a large autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) designed and built by Stone Aerospace. ARTEMIS will navigate and map the ocean and ice beneath the McMurdo Ice Shelf, taking scientific data with a suite of instruments, one of which is the PFS.