Space Science Reviews

, 214:105 | Cite as

The Color Cameras on the InSight Lander

  • J. N. MakiEmail author
  • M. Golombek
  • R. Deen
  • H. Abarca
  • C. Sorice
  • T. Goodsall
  • M. Schwochert
  • M. Lemmon
  • A. Trebi-Ollennu
  • W. B. Banerdt
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. The InSight Mission to Mars II


The NASA Mars InSight lander was successfully launched from Earth in May 2018 and is scheduled to land on Mars in November 2018. The key objective of the InSight mission is to investigate the interior structure and processes of Mars using a seismometer and heat flow probe that must first be placed onto the Martian surface by a robotic arm. The lander is equipped with two cameras to assist in this instrument deployment task. The Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC) is mounted to the lander robotic arm and will acquire images of the lander and surrounding terrain before, during, and after the instrument deployment activities. The IDC has a field of view (FOV) of \(45^{\circ} \times45^{\circ}\) and an angular resolution of 0.82 mrad/pixel at the center of the image. The Instrument Context Camera (ICC) is mounted to the lander and will acquire wide-angle views of the instrument deployment activities. The ICC has a FOV of \(124^{\circ} \times124^{\circ}\) and an angular FOV of 2.1 mrad/pixel at the center of the image. The IDC and ICC cameras are flight spare engineering cameras from the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. The InSight project upgraded the inherited cameras from single-channel greyscale to red/green/blue (RGB) color by replacing the detector with a Bayer-pattern version of the same \(1024~\mbox{pixel} \times1024~\mbox{pixel}\) detector. Stereo IDC image pairs, acquired by moving the arm between images, are critical for characterizing the topography of the instrument deployment workspace, a \(4~\mbox{meter} \times 6~\mbox{meter}\) area located in front of the lander. Images from the cameras are processed using software from previous Mars surface missions, with several new image products developed for InSight to support instrument placement activities. This paper provides a brief description of the IDC/ICC hardware and related image processing.


Mars InSight Cameras Lander Robotic arm Remote sensing Color CCD Deployment NASA Mission Planetary exploration 



This work was performed by the InSight Project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with NASA. The authors thank the efforts of the entire InSight project, in particular Tom Hoffman, Henry Stone, David Thiessen, Angela Nguyen, Arsham Dingizian, Dan MacDonald, Justin Boland, Sam Cheng, Omair Khan, Philip Bailey, Khaled Ali, Ken Glazebrook, Kerry Klein, Brian Bone, Jason Willis, Lorn Miller, Mike Stevens, Pieter Kallemeyn, Chuck Rasbach, Emily Boster, Jessica Neilson, Molly Wolf, Jeanne Ladewig, Ali Pourangi, Brian Rak, Jonathan Grinblat, Cecilia Cheng, Galen Hollins, Payam Zamani, Valerie Duval, Ed Miller, Bruce Cameron, Carl Bruce, Mark Wallace, and Ramon DePaula. Mark Schwochert led the hardware development for the color detector upgrade, Justin Maki led the development of the MSL Navcam and Hazcams, and Jesse Grimes-York led the InSight camera calibration target manufacturing effort. This paper is InSight Contribution Number 52.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. N. Maki
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Golombek
    • 1
  • R. Deen
    • 1
  • H. Abarca
    • 1
  • C. Sorice
    • 1
  • T. Goodsall
    • 1
  • M. Schwochert
    • 1
  • M. Lemmon
    • 2
  • A. Trebi-Ollennu
    • 1
  • W. B. Banerdt
    • 1
  1. 1.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  2. 2.Texas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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