CCD42-10 image sensors from Teledyne e2v, a Teledyne Imaging company, are driving two instruments – SuperCam and SHERLOC – on NASA’s Mars Rover Perseverance, due to launch on 30 July.

The sensor has already proven its worth on Mars, where it has performed a similar role since 2012 on NASA’s CURIOSITY ROVER. The SuperCam and SHERLOC instruments on 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 sensor family boasts a full-frame architecture. Back illumination technology, combined with an extremely low-noise amplifier, make the device well-suited to the most demanding applications, including spectroscopy as performed by instruments on the impending mission.

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 as part of the dust study, for cloud tracking and astronomical imaging.

A further Teledyne connection lies in the fact that all electricity needed to operate these sensors and everything else on the PERSEVERANCE rover is provided by a the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator(MMRTG), developed by Maryland-based Teledyne Energy Systems.

Dr Miles Adcock – President Space and Quantum at Teledyne e2v, stated “Teledyne’s space imaging heritage is unsurpassed, especially with the number of high TRL devices and the thousands of years of proven space flight.”

The CCD 42-10 image sensor on board Mars Rover PERSEVERANCE. (Image via Teledyne e2v)

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