LIBS Invades Mars!

Dr. Alexander Bolshakov’s Enabling NASA Research

Mars Rover

With the dramatic arrival of Nasa’s Curiosity rover on Mars, LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy) technology will soon be deployed as a part of the ChemCam sensor to analyze the chemical composition of Martian terrain.

LIBS is a disruptive chemical analysis technology that offers enormous benefits to industry and society, such as remote sensing capabilities and real-time analysis. LIBS is also a “green” technology that don’t require sample preparation, chemical waste by-products, and consumables. Thus LIBS was a perfect choice for Nasa’s Curiosity mission to Mars.

From 2009-2011, Applied Spectra conducted two research contacts for NASA to develop an innovative technology that enabled not only chemical elemental analysis, but also isotopic analysis, using ChemCam or a similar instrument. The merits of the new technology, Laser Ablation Molecular Isotopic Spectrometry (LAMIS) were quickly recognized within the scientific community.

Dr. Alex Bolshakov

Dr. Alexander Bolshakov

Dr. Alexander Bolshakov, a Senior Scientist at Applied Spectra, was the Principal Investigator on the NASA projects. Spectroscopy magazine recently interviewed Dr. Bolshakov to discuss future LAMIS applications on Earth, Mars and other planets.
To read the interview, visit: (