Awards & Nominations

Carbosens has received the following awards and nominations. Way to go!

Global Nominee

The Challenge | Make Sense Out of Mars

Develop a sensor to be used by humans on Mars.


We found a fantastic solution to map the density of methane on Mars' surface. We proposed a low power Lab-on-the-chip solution for measuring the amount of methane on Mars. The data is transferred through a routing technique called as “Carbo Routing”.


When entering this challenge some of the questions that came to our mind were :

1. What do we know about Mars ?

2. What are we going to measure on Mars ?

3. And how are we going to measure it?

Looking at some facts about Mars, we found out that it mostly contains CO2, but also water in the form of ice. When thinking about what to measure, we came up to the conclusion of Methane. But why methane?

Methane is the basis of life. Organic molecules contain carbon and hydrogen and also oxygen, nitrogen, and other elements. It can also be used as a source of energy in the red planet. It has been found that the CO2 and H2O in the red planet can combine to form a fuel. This is very important for the rockets that will deliver the space operations. Not only that, but methane research on Mars has attracted a lot of interest since it is the main element to understand whether life is possible or not. Even on June 2018, scientists found out fluctuations on methane in Mars atmosphere that illustrates just some of the complexities and challenges of this compound.

Using a high-resolution spectrograph at the Infrared Telescope Facility in Hawaii and at the Gemini South Telescope in Chile, a team led by Michael Mumma of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center detected methane concentrations in excess of 250 ppbv, varying over the planet and perhaps over time. Methane can also be made in ways that have nothing to do with biology. Hydrothermal reactions with olivine-rich rocks underground can generate it, as can reactions driven by ultraviolet (UV) light striking the carbon-containing meteoroids and dust that constantly rain down on the planet from space. As a result, we have to find new a solution to detect and measure density of methane on the surface of Mars.

Our Solution

We propose a low power lab-on-the-chip solution for measuring the amount of methane on Mars. The chip has a probe that takes certain amount of ice into itself. There is a catalytic bead mechanism that heats up the ice. The ice contains water, methane and other elements. By heating up the ice in the sensor’s reactor, methane gas will be produced. By generating methane gas, output voltage of the Wheatstone bridge will be changed. So, based on the output voltage, the amount of methane gas is computed.

This lab-on-the-chip is integrated with a Super Low Altitude (SLA) satellite to deploy it. Then the data can be sent through LoRa communication to a base station. We developed a routing algorithm which consumes less power for transferring the data to the base station before it goes to the satellite.

We set ourselves as a technology provider and partnering with manufacturers and space agencies that we can deliver this solution to other research and future energy institutes. It is cheap, feasible and it puts us a step closer to Mars by understanding it.



Technical report:

Source code:


SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.