Choosing a method of analysis to perform remote in situ analysis on Mars is no easy task. One method with great potential as a space exploration tool is Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS)[1]. LIBS has various advantages over more conventional methods such as alpha-X spectroscopy : 1) remote analysis up to 20 meters, 2) rapid analysis (few min), 3) detection of high and low Z elements including trace elements [1]. LIBS is a well known analytical technique which has been applied on many types of samples such as liquids [2], solid samples in hostile environment [3] and geological samples [4-7]. Yet, its qualification as a reliable analysis tool on Mars surface sets a series of new challenges.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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