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Capabilities of LIBS for analysis of geological samples at stand-off distances in a Mars atmosphere

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Through funding from NASA’s Mars Instrument Development Program (MIDP), we have been evaluating the use of LIBS for future use on landers and rovers to Mars. Of particular interest is the use of LIBS for stand-off measurements of geological samples up to 20 meters from the instrument. Very preliminary work on such remote LIBS measurements, based on large laboratory type equipment, was carried out about a decade ago [1]. Recent work has characterized the capabilities using more compact instrumentation [2] and some measurements have been conducted with LIBS on a NASA rover testbed [3].

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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