Friday, September 28, 2012

Mars Rover Laser Spectroscopy to be Improved at Pitt

Pitt researcher hopes to improve NASA's Mars Rover

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Tribune-Review Staff reporter Bobby Kerlik can be reached via e-mail or at 412-320-7886.

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By Bobby Kerlik

Published: Friday, September 28, 2012, 12:01 a.m.Updated 3 hours ago

Instrument location diagram of the Mars Curiosity Rover
(Sources: NASA,

A University of Pittsburgh researcher plans to use a $1.12 million grant to improve the type of laser technology used on NASA’s Mars Rover.
The method, called laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, or LIBS, also can be helpful to the Department of Homeland Security, said Kevin Chen, co-principal investigator of the study.
“For example, radioactive material, you can use the laser to peel back layers of soil if it’s underneath. Or if you want to inspect a certain site where people developed chemical weapons, this would be the way to detect that,” said Chen, 38, who teaches electrical engineering at Pitt. “It can also be useful in mining or with environmental pollution, if you want to detect that.”

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Source: Pittsbugh Tribune-Review.


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