AMMOTRACe project developments

The developments in AMMOTRACe are progressing well. The main goal of AMMOTRACe is to develop two mass spectrometric (MS) systems. One will be operated on board of research vessels and industry vessels (e.g. DEME vessels). The first deployment is planned to occur on RV Alkor (GEOMAR). The other measurement system will be designed to be mounted to a remote operated underwater vehicle (ROV). The ROV system for the first field tests will be the PHOCA ( also owned by GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel.

 The University of Rostock is currently testing several munition compounds (MCs), chemical warfare agents (CWAs) and their degradation products with a prototype tunable laser system (Figure 1) for their corresponding resonant ionization wavelengths.

Also, the University of Rostock together with Innolas Laser GmbH is testing the new OPO-laser (optical parametric oscillator) system (Figure 2). The OPO-laser will be integrated in to the ship-board MS system to measure the MCs and CWAs right at the spot where it was taken. This reduces the chance of the sample being corrupted due to storage conditions, sample transformation, contamination or inappropriate handling in general.

One of the main challenges when measuring samples in sea water with a mass spectrometric system is separating the targeted compounds from the rest of the sample matrix. In AMMOTRACe the plan is to develop a membrane inlet mass spectrometer (MIMS) (Figure 3). To make this setup work with the OPO-laser a modification of the ion source is necessary. A detailed view of the modification process is shown in Figure 4.

The development of the shipboard- and ROV system are in progress and further development steps will be published soon.