Article

Space Science Reviews

, Volume 170, Issue 1, pp 95-166

First online:

The ChemCam Instrument Suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover: Science Objectives and Mast Unit Description

  • S. MauriceAffiliated withInstitut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Univ. Paul Sabatier-CNRS-Obs. Midi-Pyrénées Email author 
  • , R. C. WiensAffiliated withLos Alamos National Laboratory
  • , M. SaccoccioAffiliated withCentre National d’Etudes Spatiales
  • , B. BarracloughAffiliated withLos Alamos National Laboratory
  • , O. GasnaultAffiliated withInstitut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Univ. Paul Sabatier-CNRS-Obs. Midi-Pyrénées
  • , O. ForniAffiliated withInstitut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Univ. Paul Sabatier-CNRS-Obs. Midi-Pyrénées
  • , N. MangoldAffiliated withLaboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique, Université Nantes-CNRS
  • , D. BaratouxAffiliated withInstitut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Univ. Paul Sabatier-CNRS-Obs. Midi-Pyrénées
  • , S. BenderAffiliated withLos Alamos National Laboratory
    • , G. BergerAffiliated withInstitut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Univ. Paul Sabatier-CNRS-Obs. Midi-Pyrénées
    • , J. BernardinAffiliated withLos Alamos National Laboratory
    • , M. BerthéAffiliated withInstitut d’Astrophysique Spatiale, Université Paris Sud & CNRS
    • , N. BridgesAffiliated withApplied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University
    • , D. BlaneyAffiliated withJet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
    • , M. BouyéAffiliated withGroupe d’Instrumentation Scientifique, Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées
    • , P. CaïsAffiliated withLaboratoire d’Astrophysique de Bordeaux, Univ. Bordeaux, CNRS
    • , B. ClarkAffiliated withSpace Science Institute
    • , S. CleggAffiliated withLos Alamos National Laboratory
    • , A. CousinAffiliated withInstitut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Univ. Paul Sabatier-CNRS-Obs. Midi-Pyrénées
    • , D. CremersAffiliated withApplied Research Associates
    • , A. CrosAffiliated withInstitut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Univ. Paul Sabatier-CNRS-Obs. Midi-Pyrénées
    • , L. DeFloresAffiliated withJet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
    • , C. DeryckeAffiliated withThalès Optronique Sa
    • , B. DinglerAffiliated withLos Alamos National Laboratory
    • , G. DromartAffiliated withLaboratoire de Géologie de Lyon, Université de Lyon-ENS de Lyon
    • , B. DuboisAffiliated withGroupe d’Instrumentation Scientifique, Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées
    • , M. DupieuxAffiliated withInstitut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Univ. Paul Sabatier-CNRS-Obs. Midi-Pyrénées
    • , E. DurandAffiliated withThalès Optronique Sa
    • , L. d’UstonAffiliated withInstitut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Univ. Paul Sabatier-CNRS-Obs. Midi-Pyrénées
    • , C. FabreAffiliated withGéologie et Gestion des Ressources Minérales et énergétiques, Univ. Lorraine-CNRS
    • , B. FaureAffiliated withCentre National d’Etudes Spatiales
    • , A. GaboriaudAffiliated withCentre National d’Etudes Spatiales
    • , T. GharsaAffiliated withInstitut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Univ. Paul Sabatier-CNRS-Obs. Midi-Pyrénées
    • , K. HerkenhoffAffiliated withU.S. Geological Survey, Astrogeology Science Center
    • , E. KanAffiliated withJet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
    • , L. KirklandAffiliated withLunar and Planetary Institute
    • , D. KouachAffiliated withGroupe d’Instrumentation Scientifique, Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées
    • , J.-L. LacourAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Chemistry, CEA, DEN
    • , Y. LangevinAffiliated withInstitut d’Astrophysique Spatiale, Université Paris Sud & CNRS
    • , J. LasueAffiliated withInstitut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Univ. Paul Sabatier-CNRS-Obs. Midi-PyrénéesLos Alamos National Laboratory
    • , S. Le MouélicAffiliated withLaboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique, Université Nantes-CNRS
    • , M. LescureAffiliated withLaboratoire d’Analyse et d’Architecture des Systèmes, CNRS
    • , E. LewinAffiliated withInstitut des Sciences de la Terre, Université Grenoble 1-CNRS
    • , D. LimonadiAffiliated withJet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
    • , G. ManhèsAffiliated withInstitut de Physique du Globe
    • , P. MauchienAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Chemistry, CEA, DEN
    • , C. McKayAffiliated withNASA Ames Research Center
    • , P.-Y. MeslinAffiliated withInstitut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Univ. Paul Sabatier-CNRS-Obs. Midi-Pyrénées
    • , Y. MichelAffiliated withCentre National d’Etudes Spatiales
    • , E. MillerAffiliated withJet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
    • , H. E. NewsomAffiliated withUniversity of New Mexico
    • , G. OrttnerAffiliated withInstitut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Univ. Paul Sabatier-CNRS-Obs. Midi-Pyrénées
    • , A. PailletAffiliated withCentre National d’Etudes Spatiales
    • , L. ParèsAffiliated withInstitut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Univ. Paul Sabatier-CNRS-Obs. Midi-Pyrénées
    • , Y. ParotAffiliated withInstitut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Univ. Paul Sabatier-CNRS-Obs. Midi-Pyrénées
    • , R. PérezAffiliated withCentre National d’Etudes Spatiales
    • , P. PinetAffiliated withInstitut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Univ. Paul Sabatier-CNRS-Obs. Midi-Pyrénées
    • , F. PoitrassonAffiliated withGéosciences Environnement Toulouse, CNRS
    • , B. QuertierAffiliated withLaboratoire d’Astrophysique de Bordeaux, Univ. Bordeaux, CNRS
    • , B. SalléAffiliated withInstitut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Univ. Paul Sabatier-CNRS-Obs. Midi-PyrénéesDepartment of Physical Chemistry, CEA, DEN
    • , C. SotinAffiliated withLaboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique, Université Nantes-CNRSJet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
    • , V. SautterAffiliated withLab. de Minéralogie et Cosmochimie, CNRS, Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle
    • , H. SéranAffiliated withInstitut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Univ. Paul Sabatier-CNRS-Obs. Midi-Pyrénées
    • , J. J. SimmondsAffiliated withJet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
    • , J.-B. SirvenAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Chemistry, CEA, DEN
    • , R. StiglichAffiliated withLos Alamos National Laboratory
    • , N. StriebigAffiliated withGroupe d’Instrumentation Scientifique, Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées
    • , J.-J. ThocavenAffiliated withInstitut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Univ. Paul Sabatier-CNRS-Obs. Midi-Pyrénées
    • , M. J. ToplisAffiliated withInstitut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Univ. Paul Sabatier-CNRS-Obs. Midi-Pyrénées
    • , D. VanimanAffiliated withLos Alamos National LaboratoryPlanetary Science Institute

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Abstract

ChemCam is a remote sensing instrument suite on board the “Curiosity” rover (NASA) that uses Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) to provide the elemental composition of soils and rocks at the surface of Mars from a distance of 1.3 to 7 m, and a telescopic imager to return high resolution context and micro-images at distances greater than 1.16 m. We describe five analytical capabilities: rock classification, quantitative composition, depth profiling, context imaging, and passive spectroscopy. They serve as a toolbox to address most of the science questions at Gale crater. ChemCam consists of a Mast-Unit (laser, telescope, camera, and electronics) and a Body-Unit (spectrometers, digital processing unit, and optical demultiplexer), which are connected by an optical fiber and an electrical interface. We then report on the development, integration, and testing of the Mast-Unit, and summarize some key characteristics of ChemCam. This confirmed that nominal or better than nominal performances were achieved for critical parameters, in particular power density (>1 GW/cm2). The analysis spot diameter varies from 350 μm at 2 m to 550 μm at 7 m distance. For remote imaging, the camera field of view is 20 mrad for 1024×1024 pixels. Field tests demonstrated that the resolution (∼90 μrad) made it possible to identify laser shots on a wide variety of images. This is sufficient for visualizing laser shot pits and textures of rocks and soils. An auto-exposure capability optimizes the dynamical range of the images. Dedicated hardware and software focus the telescope, with precision that is appropriate for the LIBS and imaging depths-of-field. The light emitted by the plasma is collected and sent to the Body-Unit via a 6 m optical fiber. The companion to this paper (Wiens et al. this issue) reports on the development of the Body-Unit, on the analysis of the emitted light, and on the good match between instrument performance and science specifications.

Keywords

Mars Spectroscopy LIBS Instruments Planetary surfaces Chemical composition