MDL News & Trends
MDL TLS Instrument Vital to Mars Science Laboratory Mission
The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission’s “Curiosity” rover carries the tunable laser spectrometer (TLS), which will investigate isotope ratios in carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen to assess present-day habitability and whether Mars ever supported life. TLS includes a new kind of semiconductor laser — the interband cascade laser — developed at MDL specifically for methane detection. If methane is detected at high levels, its carbon-13 isotope ratio will be a powerful discriminator between biological (subsurface bacteria) and nonbiological (rock chemistry) sources.
To learn more about Tunable Laser Spectrometers (TLS) in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM), please visit: