DOD

Kevin Chen Awarded DoD Grant to Build Laser Shooter to Detect Foreign Substances

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 27 September 2012

NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity fired its first laser beam in August, blasting a space rock at more than one million watts per shot to determine whether the red planet could be habitable. The method, called laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), is used to detect not only the composition of space-related soils but also an array of foreign materials. Now, with the help of a $1.12 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, PQI faculty Kevin Chen will build upon the LIBS technique and related instruments to dramatically improve the detection sensitivity of the technology for substances of interest to Homeland Security.