- Posted by Juan Barbero
- On July 20, 2021
Explaining the methodology used for the characterization of the ultraviolet photodiodes used in the Curiosity rover.
This success case describes the methodology used for the characterization of the ultraviolet photodiodes used in the Curiosity rover. These photodiodes are placed on the external side of the rover looking to the top for the characterization of the UV radiation at the surface of Mars and, therefore, are exposed to Mars challenging atmospheric conditions.
The study of the Mars atmospheric conditions is of great importance for both the preparation of future missions and the verification of the actual atmospheric situation during the operation of instruments on Mars. ALTER has actively participated in the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS), and Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) projects to develop environmental stations working on Curiosity and Perseverance rovers, respectively.
Part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission, within NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, Curiosity is the largest and most capable rover ever sent to Mars. It launched Nov. 26, 2011, and landed on Mars at 10:32 p.m. PDT on Aug. 5, 2012 (1:32 a.m. EDT on Aug. 6, 2012).
Curiosity set out to answer the question: Did Mars ever have the right environmental conditions to support small life forms called microbes? Early in its mission, Curiosity’s scientific tools found chemical and mineral evidence of past habitable environments on Mars. It continues to explore the rock record when Mars could have been home to microbial life.
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