handheld LIBS field kit

NASA relies on the science of SciAps Z

Diggity Geochemistry, LIBS, News & Press, True Demo Stories

Preparing to explore the surface of the moon requires the best available science. In their training, NASA astronauts use the SciAps LIBS handheld analyzer in unique areas on Earth to simulate the geology they may find on the moon. They spend countless hours in practice in volcanic landscapes and other places that are analogous to the lunar surface to train them on the scale and fidelity of science. Watch the 2020 NASA video to see the SciAps Z in action.


Want the entire picture? See what others simply can’t.

The SciAps Z features the most advanced LIBS technology of any handheld

  • The most powerful laser, operating at 5-6 mJ/pulse, up to 50 Hz rep rate, Class 3B 1064nm wavelength.
  • The spectrometer range of 190 nm out to 950 nm delivers full periodic table coverage.
  • Optional argon gas purge yields better limits of detection for many elements compared to air-based analysis.
  • No X-rays means no travel restrictions or licensing headaches.

NASA has been using SciAps handheld LIBS since 2017

Team member Amy McAdam explains the use of the laser induced-breakdown spectrometer.


NASA Goddard Instrument Field Team deployment to Kilbourne Hole maar crater in New Mexico.


Canadian Space Agency research

handheld LIBS field kit

The SciAps LIBS Z-300 has been also used in a lunar analog simulation mission organized by the Institute for Earth and Space Exploration (Western Space), funded by the Canadian Space Agency, to be used as a resource for future missions to the moon.

Mission to Mars research

SciAps LIBS Z-903 is also used in other Mars analog simulations, including a 2021 expedition in the volcanic landscape of Hawai’i at HI-SEAS, a Mars and moon exploration analog research station operated by the International MoonBase Alliance.


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