A CNES remote operations center for the MSL ChemCam instrument
A CNES remote operations center for the MSL ChemCam instrument For the first time, a CNES remote operations center in Toulouse will be involved in the tactical operations of a Martian rover in order to operate the ChemCam science instrument in the framework of the NASA MSL (Mars Science Laboratory) mission in 2012. CNES/CESR and LANL have developed and delivered to JPL the ChemCam (Chemistry Camera) instrument located on the top of mast and in the body of the rover. This instrument incorporates a Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) and a Remote Micro-Imager (RMI) for determining elemental compositions of rock targets or soil samples at remote distances from the rover (2-7 m). An agreement has been achieved for operating ChemCam, alternatively, from Toulouse (FR) and Los Alamos (NM, USA), through the JPL ground data system in Pasadena (CA, USA) for a complete Martian year (2 years on Earth). After a brief overview of the MSL mission, this paper presents the instrument, the mission operational system and JPL organization requirements for the scientific investigators (PI and Co-Is). This paper emphasizes innovations applied on the ground segment components and on the operational approach to satisfy the requirements and constraints due to these shared and distributed operations over the world.
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