The ChemCam Instrument Suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover: Body Unit and Combined System Tests

Research areas:
  • Roger C. Wiens
  • Sylvestre Maurice
  • Bruce Barraclough
  • Muriel Saccoccio
  • Walter C. Barkley
  • James F. Bell
  • Steve Bender
  • John Bernardin
  • Diana Blaney
  • Jennifer Blank
  • Marc Bouye
  • Nathan Bridges
  • Nathan Bultman
  • Phillippe Cais
  • Robert C. Clanton
  • Benton Clark
  • Samuel Clegg
  • Agnes Cousin
  • David Cremers
  • Alain Cros
  • Lauren DeFlores
  • Dorothea Delapp
  • Robert Dingler
  • Claude D'
  • Uston
  • M. Darby Dyar
  • Tom Elliott
  • Don Enemark
  • Cecile Fabre
  • Mike Flores
  • Olivier Forni
  • Olivier Gasnault
  • Thomas Hale
  • Charles Hays
  • Ken Herkenhoff
  • Ed Kan
  • Laurel Kirkland
  • Driss Kouach
  • David Landis
  • Yves Langevin
  • Nina Lanza
  • Frank LaRocca
  • Jeremie Lasue
  • Joseph Latino
  • Daniel Limonadi
  • Chris Lindensmith
  • Cynthia Little
  • Nicolas Mangold
  • Gerard Manhes
  • Patrick Mauchien
  • Christopher McKay
  • Ed Miller
  • Joe Mooney
  • Richard V. Morris
  • Leland Morrison
  • Tony Nelson
  • Horton Newsom
  • Ann Ollila
  • Melanie Ott
  • Laurent Pares
  • Rene Perez
  • Franck Poitrasson
  • Cheryl Provost
  • Joseph W. Reiter
  • Tom Roberts
  • Frank Romero
  • Violaine Sautter
  • Steven Salazar
  • John J. Simmonds
  • Ralph Stiglich
  • Steven Storms
  • Nicolas Striebig
  • Jean-Jacques Thocaven
  • Tanner Trujillo
  • Mike Ulibarri
  • David Vaniman
  • Noah Warner
  • Rob Waterbury
  • Robert Whitaker
  • James Witt
  • Belinda Wong-Swanson
The ChemCam instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover
Curiosity provides remote compositional information using the first
laser-induced breakdown spectrometer (LIBS) on a planetary mission, and
provides sample texture and morphology data using a remote micro-imager
(RMI). Overall, ChemCam supports MSL with five capabilities: remote
classification of rock and soil characteristics; quantitative elemental
compositions including light elements like hydrogen and some elements to
which LIBS is uniquely sensitive (e.g., Li, Be, Rb, Sr, Ba); remote
removal of surface dust and depth profiling through surface coatings;
context imaging; and passive spectroscopy over the 240-905 nm range.
ChemCam is built in two sections: The mast unit, consisting of a laser,
telescope, RMI, and associated electronics, resides on the rover's mast,
and is described in a companion paper. ChemCam's body unit, which is
mounted in the body of the rover, comprises an optical demultiplexer,
three spectrometers, detectors, their coolers, and associated
electronics and data handling logic. Additional instrument components
include a 6 m optical fiber which transfers the LIBS light from the
telescope to the body unit, and a set of onboard calibration targets.
ChemCam was integrated and tested at Los Alamos National Laboratory
where it also underwent LIBS calibration with 69 geological standards
prior to integration with the rover. Post-integration testing used
coordinated mast and instrument commands, including LIBS line scans on
rock targets during system-level thermal-vacuum tests. In this paper we
describe the body unit, optical fiber, and calibration targets, and the
assembly, testing, and verification of the instrument prior to launch.