For a long time it was assumed there is no water on the Moon. However, evidence is increasing. The Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) is now working on the LUVMI-X project to develop a laser that can find water or other volatiles in the polar regions of the Moon.
The probability of finding water or other volatiles is highest in the polar regions, as they are frozen within the polar ice. To detect them, the LZH is developing a laser for a laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) system as part of the LUVMI-X project. The laser radiation of the system breaks down molecules into their atoms. This creates a plasma and the atoms send out a characteristic spectrum. The spectrum of this plasma can then be compared with spectra of known atomic compositions to determine the elements in the sample. In LUVMI-X the LZH, the Institute of Optical Sensor Systems of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and OHB System AG jointly work on the LIBS system.