just wondering if this project is dead ?? but if not may i please offer some input ?
Please have a look at this link,
This project looks like it has merit, albeit there are a few things that could probably be improved on, i.e. a better screen, and a nice 3d printed case to install everything into
raspberry pie's are cheep, in fact you would not be able to purchase the components and build something like it for the price .. so it stands to reason that something like that would be pure awesome for this kind of project, the only thing that would need to be sorted would be how to connect the sensors to it, and make a nice GUI for it for ease of use.
There are Arduino boards that you can connect to a raspberry pi, in fact the linked project has already used such a device to connect some sensors, also, you need to have an easy way to get at the tricorder logs, so a nice thing later in the project would be a second sd card, or a micro sd reader with /var/logs mounted to it, so if needs be, and you have detected life but not as we know it, the logs can be examined on a conventional computer
i am happy to help out where i can, and i am itching to have a go at building one of these things, however i am not an electronics expert, and etching my own boards, and surface mounting components might be a little complicated for my current skill set
I am however learning to program so the idea of something that is full of sensors with modable code is very compelling.
please let me know if you would like some help, and i will do my best to assist.