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Our History

How FTIR Spectroscopy Design Went from Space Travel to Industrial Applications on Earth

Keit’s technology began with an idea that a static-optical design was the ideal solution to create an analyser to measure the atmosphere around Mars. Designing an FTIR (Fourier transform infrared) spectrometer that could undergo the rigours of space travel was novel, untried and innovative. The resulting design had to be:

  • Low power
  • Low maintenance (can’t send up a service repair rep once it’s in space)
  • Compact
  • Vibration tolerant to survive the extremes of a rocket launch
  • And actually work

Keit’s FTIR stands up to the challenge

Standard FTIR spectrometers split and merge a light path by the movement of a small mirror. The result is an analytical instrument highly susceptible to vibration –  impossible for use on a satellite (and impractical for in situ industrial use).  Still wanting to harness the information-rich area of the mid-infrared spectral region for analysis, the new FTIR design needed to be fixed, with no moving parts — and so the plans for the IRmadillo were born.

UK Technology & Innovation

In 2013, Keit became a spin off company at the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre UK (ESA BIC) managed by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) on the Harwell Campus at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) in Oxfordshire, England.

Improved monitoring and control of production processes

With commercially viable applications on Earth, Keit was launched on the global marketplace with an analytical instrument that could provide process analysis of fluids in industrial settings – such as with biofuel companies wanting to optimise their feedstock pre-treatment processing or to monitor a biofermentation process in real time;  chemical, pulp & paper and edible oil refining companies needing a new type of instruments sturdy enough to be used right in the production plant for real-time insight rather than waiting for off-line sample analysis.

The advantage of in situ process analytical technology (PAT), remains the ability to capture the reaction analysis as it happens in real time – alerting production managers of potential irregularities for faster  decision making and better resource management.

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IRmadillo, a robust in situ FTIR enables process monitoring with valuable industrial applications

Keit’s IRmadillo analyser is ideal for use in manufacturing environments due to its rugged design and certification for use in hazardous environments. Read more about how the Keit IRmadillo FTIR spectrometer provides continuous, real-time process analysis over a variety of industries and biochemical processes. Feel free to explore and download material from our Application Library.

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