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NASA's laser zapper for Mars

steve001

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NASA is sending a new laser-toting robot to Mars. But unlike the lasers of science fiction, this one is used for studying mineralogy and chemistry from up to about 20 feet (7 meters) away. It might help scientists find signs of fossilized microbial life on the Red Planet, too. https://m.phys.org/news/2020-02-laser-microphone-atop-mars-nasa.html
 



Encap

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Excellent summary artic;le. (y)
Thank you for posting link to same. https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/ry interesting complimenting techologies and team approch to the development of same.

A lot more info for anyne interested is here---released yesterday by NASA: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/

"SuperCam can use an infrared laser beam to heat the material it impacts to around 18,000 degrees Fahrenheit (10,000 degrees Celsius) - a method called laser induced breakdown spectroscopy, or LIBS - and vaporizes it. A special camera can then determine the chemical makeup of these rocks from the plasma that is created. "

Of interest here on LPF is the use of a green laser which is new feature:
"Another new feature in SuperCam is a
green laser that can determine the molecular composition of surface materials. This green beam excites the chemical bonds in a sample and produces a signal depending on which elements are bonded together - a technique called Raman spectroscopy. SuperCam also uses the green laser to cause some minerals and carbon-based chemicals to emit light, or fluoresce.
Minerals and organic chemicals fluoresce at different rates, so SuperCam's light sensor features a shutter that can close as quickly as 100 nanoseconds at a time - so fast that very few photons of light will enter it. Altering the shutter speed (a technique called time-resolved luminescence spectroscopy) will enable scientists to better determine the compounds present."
 
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