All the technological wonders of the Perseverance rover



by LORENZO CIOTTI

All the technological wonders of the Perseverance rover

The Perseverance rover brings with it seven tools chosen from a selection of 58 proposals, 23 cameras, seven technological marvels. It is also equipped with two microphones to record ambient sound during the rover's descent, landing and operation on the ground.

The overall mass amounts to approximately 29 kg while the maximum absorption is 436 W. The total cost of developing the scientific instrumentation amounts to approximately 130 million dollars. The Mastcam-Z is the evolution of the Mastcam mounted on Curiosity, it is a system of two panoramic and stereoscopic cameras with the zoom capability (3x) that allows you to take 3-D images and high resolution videos to allow a detailed examination of even distant objects.

The Supercam is a LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy) instrument, an evolution of the ChemCam mounted on Curiosity, which will be able to provide images and chemical analysis of the mineralogical composition at a distance of 7 m from the site, thus analyzing those places that the rover could not reach with the mechanical arm.

PIXL, an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer including a high-resolution camera, mounted at the end of the robotic arm to be positioned close to the ground or on a rock, will be used to precisely determine the elements that make up the analyzed samples.

All the technological wonders of the Perseverance rover

SHERLOC, mounted like the PIXL on the robotic arm, is an ultraviolet Raman spectrometer accompanied by a camera for searching for organic and mineral compounds that have been contaminated by aqueous environments and perhaps with traces of microbial life.

MOXIE, which is an instrument for the scientific demonstration of the extraction, in local conditions, of oxygen (O2) from carbon dioxide (CO2) which almost exclusively makes up the Martian atmosphere. MEDA, a set of sensors that provide measurements of temperature, wind speed and direction, pressure, relative humidity and the shape and size of dust suspended in the atmosphere.

For measuring the air temperature the sensor is composed of 5 sensors of which 3 are installed on the main arm, the remaining 2 are installed on the main body. RIMFAX, a radar capable of detecting the structure of the Martian soil.

The diagram obtained from the return signal is similar to an ultrasound. The signal varies depending on whether ice, rocks, sand or water is present. MHS, a small helicopter with a mass of 1.8 kg, which was the first aircraft heavier than the atmosphere to fly on another planet.

Once he landed the rover, his goal was to carry out flight tests lasting 90 s over a 30-day period. It has two high-resolution cameras for navigation, but has no scientific instruments on board.