Teledyne CCD42-10 image sensors searching for organic compounds to prove signs of past microbial life on the Red Planet
Chelmsford, UK, July 28, 2020 – Teledyne e2v, a Teledyne Technologies [NYSE: TDY] company and part of the Teledyne Imaging Group, provide its CCD42-10 image sensor to drive two of the instruments, SuperCam and SHERLOC, on board NASA’s Mars Rover Perseverance, scheduled to launch July 30th at 07:50 Eastern Time.
The Mars 2020 mission is part of a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet. The 2020 mission addresses high-priority science goals including questions about the potential for life on Mars. The mission will look for signs of past microbial life itself.
Perseverance will investigate an astrobiologically relevant ancient environment on Mars and investigate its surface geological processes and history, including the assessment of its past habitability, the possibility of past life on Mars, and the potential for preservation of biosignatures within accessible geological materials.
By NASA/JPL-Caltech – https://mars.nasa.gov/resources/mars-2020-rover-artists-concept/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62085182
The mission also provides opportunities to gather knowledge and demonstrate technologies that address the challenges of future human expeditions to Mars. These include testing a method for producing oxygen from the Martian atmosphere, identifying other resources (such as subsurface water), improving landing techniques, and characterizing weather, dust, and other potential environmental conditions that could affect future astronauts living and working on Mars.
Teledyne’s CCD42-10 sensor has proven its worth for the task, performing a similar role on Mars since 2012 within the ChemCam instrument on-board NASA’s Curiosity Rover. The SuperCam and SHERLOC instruments of Perseverance will advance this capability and be used to search for organic compounds and minerals, looking to see if they have been altered by watery environments, proving signs of past microbial life on the Red Planet.
This version of the CCD42 family of CCD sensors has a full frame architecture. Back illumination technology, in combination with an extremely low noise amplifier, make the device well-suited to the most demanding applications, including spectroscopy as performed by the SuperCam and SHERLOC instruments on the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover.
In addition to SuperCam and SHERLOC, Teledyne DALSA’s Bromont semiconductor foundry built the JPL-designed CCD image sensor that powers SkyCam, part of the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA), a meteorological suite for the Mars 2020 rover. Building on technology from the previous Curiosity rover, SkyCam is one of the Radiation and Dust Sensor (RDS) instruments that will monitor sky brightness over time in a variety of wavelengths and geometries in order to characterize Martian dust and the solar and thermal radiation environment. SkyCam will image the sky at varying times as part of the dust study, for cloud tracking, and for astronomical imaging.
The key optical components for the SHERLOC UV spectrometer where produced by Acton Optics, part of Teledyne Princeton Instruments which include lenses and mirrors in the Conditioning Optics Module, Lenses in the Context Imager Lens assembly and broadband mirrors in the Spectrometer module, and also Teledyne Judson Technologies supplied infrared photodiodes into the SuperCam instrument.
In yet another Teledyne connection, all of the electricity needed to operate these sensors and everything else on the Perseverance rover is provided by a power system called a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator(MMRTG) developed by Teledyne Energy Systems, Maryland, US.
Dr Miles Adcock – President Space and Quantum at Teledyne e2v said: “Teledyne e2v’s space imaging heritage is unsurpassed, especially with the number of high TRL devices and the thousands of years of proven space flight. Of course, when it comes to missions to Mars, it as an especially proud moment to think of what the team at Teledyne e2v can accomplish.”
Notes to Editors:
Teledyne e2v is part of the Teledyne Imaging Group. Their innovations lead developments in healthcare, life sciences, space, transportation, defence and security and industrial markets. Teledyne e2v’s unique approach involves listening to the market and application challenges of customers and partnering with them to provide innovative standard, semi-custom or fully-custom imaging solutions, bringing increased value to their systems.
For more information, visit https://www.teledyne-e2v.com
Teledyne Imaging is a group of leading-edge companies aligned under the Teledyne Technologies [TDY] umbrella. Teledyne Imaging forms an unrivalled collective of expertise across the spectrum with decades of experience. Individually, each company offers best-in-class solutions. Together, they combine and leverage each other’s strengths to provide the deepest, widest imaging and related technology portfolio in the world. From aerospace through industrial inspection, radiography and radiotherapy, geospatial surveying, and advanced MEMS and semiconductor solutions, Teledyne Imaging offers world-wide customer support and the technical expertise to handle the toughest tasks. Their tools, technologies, and vision solutions are built to deliver to their customers a unique and competitive advantage.
Mark Bown, Head of Marketing – Space Imaging
For more information, visit https://www.teledyneimaging.com/