The Spectroscopy and Magnetics Laboratory, established in 1973, conducts detailed spectroscopic and magnetic analysis on a wide range of astromaterials and planetary analogue materials. The scientific instrumentation located in this lab includes visible near-infrared spectrometers, Fourier transform infrared spectrometer, Mössbauer spectrometers, vibrating sample magnetometer, magnetic susceptibility bridge, electron magnetic resonance spectrometer, and a laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy system. In addition, the lab houses one of the most extensive collections of planetary analogue materials available. This collection consists of thousands of well-characterized natural rocks and mineral samples, as well as synthetic minerals and glasses.
Research conducted in the Spectroscopy and Magnetics Laboratory provides physical, chemical, and mineralogical information used to interpret data from various planetary landers, rovers, and orbiting spacecraft. Additionally, the diverse laboratory instrumentation and extensive sample collection support the development, calibration, and qualification of planetary flight instruments.