Potential NASA Commercial Applications: The isotope sensor resulting from this project will be developed to support efforts to search for evidence of life on future NASA missions. The research is specifically relevant to NASA Objective 2.3 which is to "Ascertain the content, origin, and evolution of the solar system and the potential for life elsewhere," as well as NASA Astrobiology Roadmap Goal 7: "Determine how to recognize signatures of life on other worlds and on Earth." In fact, NASA Astrobiology Roadmap Objective 7.1 is to "Learn how to recognize and interpret biosignatures which, if identified in samples from ancient rocks on Earth or from other planets, can help to detect and/or characterize ancient and/or present-day life." The anticipated technology would also be useful for the exploration of the Moon and asteroids, since it is able to quantify local variations in δ 13C, which have been observed in primitive meteorites, comets, and interplanetary dust particles when investigated at the microscale. The capillary absorption spectrometer (CAS) at the heart of the system will also provide a new high precision, ultra-low-volume sensor relevant to a range of other NASA applications. These include atmospheric sensing of Earth and other planets (e.g., Uranus) environmental sensing from a small UAV, analysis of soil bacteria related to Carbon cycle, as well as full elemental analysis of various microscopic-sized samples and organisms.