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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Development and qualification of a fiber optic cable for Martian environments

Paper Abstract

ChemCam is an instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission that will launch to Mars in 2011. MSL is a rover-type lander that is capable of exploring large territories over the mission lifetime and includes a number of instruments for analysing rocks and soil. ChemCam includes a laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) [1] instrument that samples the surface chemistry of target objects within about 10 m of the rover without having to physically move to the target to obtain emission spectra in the 240 nm to 800 nm range. The ChemCam laser and sensing telescope are mounted on the rover Remote Sensing Mast (RSM) and have 360 degrees of azimuthal range, and 180 degrees of vertical range, allowing sampling of any object within range and line-of-sight of the mast top. This capability can be used to select targets for further analysis by other MSL instruments.

The LIBS portion of ChemCam is split between the top of the RSM and inside the rover body. The laser and the telescope are located atop the mast and rotate to select and observe targets. The three spectrometers (UV, VIS, and NIR) are located inside the rover body, along with a demultiplexer (demux) that splits the signal into the three bands. The signal from the telescope is transmitted to the demux by the fiber optic cable that is the subject of this paper. The fiber optic cable (FOC) is a single 5.7-m long, broadband, mult-mode fiber that connects the telescope and demux and is exposed to the full martian environment in some places and subjected to significant temperature gradients as it runs from interior areas to exterior areas.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 November 2017
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 10565, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2010, 1056519 (20 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2309109
Show Author Affiliations
C. A. Lindensmith, Jet Propulsion Lab., California Institute of Technology (United States)
W. T. Roberts, Jet Propulsion Lab., California Institute of Technology (United States)
M. Meacham, Jet Propulsion Lab., California Institute of Technology (United States)
M. N. Ott, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
F. LaRocca, MEI Technologies (United States)
W. J. Thomes, MEI Technologies (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10565:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2010
Errico Armandillo; Bruno Cugny; Nikos Karafolas, Editor(s)

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