ChemCam on MSL 2009: first laser induced breakdown spectrometer for space science
ChemCam on MSL 2009: first laser induced breakdown spectrometer for space science ChemCam is one of the 10 instrument suites on the Mars Science Laboratory, a martian rover being built by Jet Propulsion Laboratory, for the next NASA mission to Mars (MSL 2009). ChemCam is an instrument package consisting of two remote sensing instruments: a Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) and a Remote Micro-Imager (RMI). LIBS provides elemental compositions of rocks and soils, while the RMI places the LIBS analyses in their geomorphologic context. Both instruments rely on an autofocus capability to precisely focus on the chosen target, located at distances from the rover comprised between 1 and 9 m for LIBS, and 2 m and infinity for RMI. ChemCam will help determine which samples, within the vicinity of the MSL rover, are of sufficient interest to use the contact and in-situ instruments for further characterization. It will provide valuable analyses of samples that are inaccessible to contact and in-situ instruments, and of a much larger number of samples than can be done with this kind of instrument. ChemCam also has a capability to provide passive spectroscopy data of rocks and soils on Mars. ChemCam hardware consists of a Mast Unit (MU), provided by France, and a Body Unit (BU) built and tested more »
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