Falling to the Red Planet
MEDLI isn't one of Curiosity's 10 instruments, since it's built into the heat shield that will protect the rover on its descent through the Martian atmosphere. But it's worth a few words here.
MEDLI will measure the temperatures and pressures the heat shield experiences as the MSL spacecraft streaks through the Martian sky. This information will tell engineers how well the heat shield, and their models of the spacecraft's trajectory, performed.
Researchers will use MEDLI data to improve designs for future Mars-bound spacecraft.