For exploration of planetary surfaces, detection of water and ice is of great interest in supporting existence of life on other planets. Therefore, a remote Raman spectroscopy system was demonstrated at NASA Langley Research Center in collaboration with the University of Hawaii for detecting ice-water and hydrous minerals on planetary surfaces. In this study, a 532 nm pulsed laser is utilized as an excitation source to allow detection in high background radiation conditions. The Raman scattered signal is collected by a 4-inch telescope positioned in front of a spectrograph. The Raman spectrum is analyzed using a spectrograph equipped with a holographic super notch filter to eliminate Rayleigh scattering, and a holographic transmission grating that simultaneously disperses two spectral tracks onto the detector for higher spectral range. To view the spectrum, the spectrograph is coupled to an intensified charge-coupled device (ICCD), which allows detection of very weak Stokes line. The ICCD is operated in gated mode to further suppress effects from background radiation and long-lived fluorescence. The sample is placed at 5.6 m from the telescope, and the laser is mounted on the telescope in a coaxial geometry to achieve maximum performance. The system was calibrated using the spectral lines of a Neon lamp source. To evaluate the system, Raman standard samples such as calcite, naphthalene, acetone, and isopropyl alcohol were analyzed. The Raman evaluation technique was used to analyze water, ice and other hydrous minerals and results from these species are presented.© (2006) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.