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Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS)

NSSDCA ID: 2023-098A-06

Mission Name: Chandrayaan 3


The Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) is mounted on the Chandrayaan 3 rover and is designed to detect 16 major elements commonly found in lunar rock-forming minerals. It is mounted on the bottom of the rover chassis, pointed towards the surface underneath the rover. The instrument uses laser-induced plasma emission spectroscopy, in which laser pulses are used to ablate surface material and produce plasma plumes.

The laser is low-energy (3 mJ) at a wavelength of 1535 nm. The beam has a divergence of approximately 0.43 mrad, giving a spot size on the surface of roughly 100 microns at the nominal working distance of 205 mm from the rover chassis. A Collections Optics Unit uses 3 lenses and 2 morror elements. The spectroscope uses a flat-field configuration with a holographic aberration-corrected reflective grating and a CCD. The instrument was designed by the Lab for Electro-Optical Systems. It has a mass of 1.13 kg and measures 18 x 15 x 8 cm.

Emission signatures (absorbance) from the plumes can be measured in the spectral region 200-800 nm (near-UV, visible, and near-IR) with a resolution of 0.35 nm. The elements measured are H, C, N, O, P, S, Na, Mg, Al, Si, K, Ca, Fe, Mn, and Ti. It was turned on 25 August 2023 at 10:42:21 UTC. LIBS was operated 66 times on 25 different sites, and fired over 750 laser shots. The final operation was performed on 2 September 2023.

Alternate Names

  • Chandrayaan3/LaserInducedBreakdownSpectrscope(LIBS)
  • LIBS

Facts in Brief

Mass: 1.13 kg

Funding Agency

  • Indian Space Research Organization (India)


  • Planetary Science: Geology and Geophysics

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



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