Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute


Detection and classification of microbes in the deep ocean and on Mars

William Hug, Ph.D., Photon Systems, Inc.

Arthur Lane, Ph.D., Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Wednesday, June 7, 2006
Pacific Forum – 3:00 p.m.

MCDUVE measuring the chimney below this smoker at 21° N EPR

Instruments for detection and classification of biological and chemical materials in extreme environments are of interest for exploration of Mars and the outer planets, and also for exploration of the deep ocean, deep ice and other hostile environments on Earth.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory in collaboration with Photon Systems, Inc. have been developing instruments for studying biological and organic materials in these hostile environments for about six years. Out of these developments have come an array of instruments that have been deployed to the deep ocean to over 8,000 foot depths, to the Arctic and desert environments. We are working on instruments for deep ice penetration and immersion in subglacial lakes in Antarctica.These instruments employ deep ultraviolet laser induced native fluorescence and resonance Raman spectroscopy for detection and identification of trace levels of biological and chemical materials. These techniques and instruments will be described during the seminar.

Next: Tools for ecosystem-based management in coastal marine environments