The Terra Portable XRD by Olympus NDT

The Terra Field Portable X-ray Diffraction/X-ray Fluorescence has evolved from X-ray diffraction analysis. The technology used in the portable rock and mineral analyzer received a prestigious R&D 100 award and was chosen to fly on the Mars Science Laboratory Rover scheduled for launch in 2011.

The Terra is the first truly portable combination XRF/XRD system designed specifically for rock and mineral analysis. It is possible to do field XRD work in this field. It is possible to configure the Terra to analyze and acquire diffraction data in a robust compact case. Sample preparation time is minimized with a patented sample handling system and also accuracy in peak identification that was till now only possible in using lab-based systems can be achieved.

Key Features/Benefits

The key features and benefits of the Terra Portable XRD are:

  • Self-contained instrument - battery operated
  • Very simple sample preparation
  • loose powders (~20mg of sample)
  • sieve sample to <150µm
  • Easy to use, single button operation
  • True 2D powder XRD instrument provides image of XRD pattern
  • Energy discrimination X-ray detector
  • Eliminate Fluorescence, scatter and other background
  • XRF spectral data for pattern confirmation.

Terra's innovative direct excitation CCD camera provides performance previously found only with lab based XRF/XRD instruments.


The applications of the Terra Portable XRD are:

Mining & Ores

  • Iron Ore - Quickly analyze iron rich ore with Xpowder's Reference Intenstiy Ratios to automatically generate quantitative compositions of the samples even when certain phases are completely absent - quartz, hematite, goethite, magnetite & more
  • Calcite in Coal - Quantify calcite (CaCO3), a mineral identified as reducing the efficiency of the raw material fuel in a coal-fired plant, to improve efficiency and reduce carbon emissions
  • Potash - Analyze potash for phase identification and semiquantitative analysis of identified minerals such as sylvite, halite, langbenite and leonite. For further refinement, Sietronics Siroquant is available
  • Limestone & Cement - Easily perform quantitative analysis of common minerals associated with limestone - alpha-quartz, asbestos minerals, calcite, dolomite and more. In cases where the quarry contains various levels of dolomite, the Terra quickly determines this mineral in the range of 0.50 to 9.0% with an error of only 0.02%.


Mudlogging – Perform mineral ID and quantification on shale cuttings in the field for rapid feedback at drilling sites Simplify "chasing the vein" of a given mineral strata.

Pipelines - Terra Smart Sense enables optimum peak-to-background performance to identify and quantify corrosion materials on pipelines Simultaneous XRF measurements give rapid identification of elemental constituents.

Easily reanalyze mine tailings to determine mill performance or evaluate historical projects.


  • Rapidly ID dangerous hazardous materials on-site for local & global security
  • Identify explosives, fusing materials & accelerants on location
  • ID & quantify suspected hazardous materials: azide's PETN, black powder's KClO3, KClO4 & KNO3, flash powder's KClO3 & cascandite
  • Quickly identify asbestos containing insulation in the field
  • NIOSH & EPA XRD Methods for chrysotile identification


  • Rapid ID of counterfeit pharmaceuticals
  • Fast, non-destructive fingerprinting of drug formulations & precursors
  • Test for presence and quantity of active and inactive, foreign or substitute ingredients
  • Fast XRD screening ensures patient safety and safeguards legitimate pharmaceutical manufacturers' branding

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