Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) "Curiosity" In Final Phase Of Its 8 Months Cruise


#1



Even as Mars Exploration Rover – B (MER-B) "Opportunity" goes about unfazed into its 2946 sols or 3026 days here on Earth in what was supposed to be a 90 sols planned mission around the Meridiani Planum. The US$2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) "Curiosity" is now blazing by at a velocity of ~ 21,000 km/h relative to the Earth (down from ~ 28,600 km/h just two months ago) in the final homestretch of its 570 million kilometres interplanetary journey.

Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) is expected on the 6th of August 2012, 1300 hours to 1330 hours SST (Singapore Standard Time / UTC +8), 89.5 days from now.
 

#2
[video=youtube;P4boyXQuUIw]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4boyXQuUIw[/video]
YouTube Video ID No. P4BOYXQUUIW

The EDL phase does seems to be overly complexed as compared to previous attempts. :think:


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Also..., in memory of Mars Exploration Rover – A (MER-A) "Spirit"...


Randall Munroe's xkcd Comic Strip ID No. 695
 

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Rashkae

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#3
I hope it lands ans works properly... And doesn't go splatttttt
 

#4
I hope it lands ans works properly... And doesn't go splatttttt
NASA has a pretty excellent track record as far as interplanetary mission including Mars exploration goes in comparison to the Europeans and Russians. Hack, the Roscosmos' Fobos-Grunt did not even manage to leave beyond Earth's orbit just last year and the European Space Agency's (ESA's) Beagle 2 was supposedly destroyed by a Decepticon immediately upon landing in 2003. :bsmilie:
 

#5
All systems nominal. Trajectory Correction Maneuver 5 (TCM-5) burn not required, Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) "Curiosity" is Go for final approach.

Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) phase expected in 56 hours on the 6th of August 2012, 1331 hours SST (Singapore Standard Time / UTC +8).
 

Rashkae

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#7
I wonder if they brought any camera on board the rover this time... Maybe a Lytro? :p
Why would they waste space on a useless bit of equipment like that?
 

#8
I wonder if they brought any camera on board the rover this time... Maybe a Lytro? :p
Well, they wouldn't be your typical cameras that you know of unless they are able to survive in an extremely hostile environment with an average temperature of −55 °C in the Gale Crater of Mars ravaged by frequent dust storms that is constantly whipping up microscopic oxidised regolith from the surface.

Primary camera systems provided by the Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) mounted 2.1 meters above the Martian surface on board Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) "Curiosity" Remote Sensing Mast (RSM) consists of not limited to the...

  • MastCam-100 (M-100) Bayer Pattern Filter (BBF) Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) video camera providing High-Definition (HD) multispectral imaging in the individual Red, Green, Blue (RGB) channels, Near Infrared (NIR) and visible wavelengths through a 100 mm fixed focal length, f/10 aperture lens with 5.1° square Field of View (FoV) and the...

  • MastCam-34 (M-34) Bayer Pattern Filter (BBF) Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) video camera providing High-Definition (HD) multispectral imaging in the individual Red, Green, Blue (RGB) channels, Near Infrared (NIR) and visible wavelengths through a 34 mm fixed focal length, f/8 aperture lens with 15° square Field of View (FoV).
This is complemented along with twelve others secondary engineering and navigational 3D stereo cameras positioned throughout the rover with raw data processed in the gamma radiation hardened Digital Electronics Assemblies (DEA). ;)



 

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ArchRival

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#9
  • MastCam-100 (M-100) Bayer Pattern Filter (BBF) Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) video camera providing High-Definition (HD) multispectral imaging in the individual Red, Green, Blue (RGB) channels, Near Infrared (NIR) and visible wavelengths through a 100 mm fixed focal length, f/10 aperture lens with 5.1° square Field of View (FoV) and the...

  • MastCam-34 (M-34) Bayer Pattern Filter (BBF) Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) video camera providing High-Definition (HD) multispectral imaging in the individual Red, Green, Blue (RGB) channels, Near Infrared (NIR) and visible wavelengths through a 34 mm fixed focal length, f/8 aperture lens with 15° square Field of View (FoV).
This is complemented along with twelve others secondary engineering and navigational 3D stereo cameras positioned throughout the rover with raw data processed in the gamma radiation hardened Digital Electronics Assemblies (DEA). ;)
How can a sensor fitted with a bayer filter still do IR? And since it already has a bayer filter, why does it still have a filter wheel?
 

#10
How can a sensor fitted with a bayer filter still do IR? And since it already has a bayer filter, why does it still have a filter wheel?
Good question. My guess is that the Bayer filter array may consists of Infrared (IR) clear pixels or through long exposure? The team at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) may feel that more precise information from further signal processing of raw data obtained through these additional filters in a specified wavelength will be useful in some ways.

Detailed specifications directly from Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) indicated the filter wheel consists of a 440 nm (Blue Channel), a 525 nm (Green Channel), a 550 nm (Green Channel), a 675 nm (Red Channel), a 750 nm (Near Infrared (NIR)), a 865 nm (NIR), a 1034 nm (NIR), an IR cut-off, and also a Neutral Density (ND) filter disc for the MastCam-34 (M-34).

A 440 nm (Blue Channel), a 525 nm (Green Channel), a 550 nm (Green Channel), a 800 nm (NIR), a 880 nm (NIR), a 905 nm (NIR), a 935 nm (NIR), a 1035 nm (NIR), an Infrared (IR) cut-off, and also a Neutral Density (ND) filter disc for the MastCam-100 (M-100).
 

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ArchRival

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#11
Good question. My guess is that the Bayer filter array may consists of Infrared (IR) clear pixels or through long exposure? The team at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) may feel that more precise information from further signal processing of raw data obtained through these additional filters in a specified wavelength will be useful in some ways.

Detailed specifications directly from Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) indicated the filter wheel consists of a 440 nm (Blue Channel), a 525 nm (Green Channel), a 550 nm (Green Channel), a 675 nm (Red Channel), a 750 nm (Near Infrared (NIR)), a 865 nm (NIR), a 1034 nm (NIR), an IR cut-off, and also a Neutral Density (ND) filter disc for the MastCam-34 (M-34).

A 440 nm (Blue Channel), a 525 nm (Green Channel), a 550 nm (Green Channel), a 800 nm (NIR), a 880 nm (NIR), a 905 nm (NIR), a 935 nm (NIR), a 1035 nm (NIR), an Infrared (IR) cut-off, and also a Neutral Density (ND) filter disc for the MastCam-100 (M-100).
In that case i think the cameras are monochrome with no bayer filter. It makes more sense that way.
 

Rashkae

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#12
In that case i think the cameras are monochrome with no bayer filter. It makes more sense that way.
Yup. When NASA releases photos they normally state it's monochrome with color information added in processing.
 

Rashkae

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#13
So, at 1:30pm on Monday, why else will be trying to follow this descent with a bucket of popcorn?
 

#14
In that case i think the cameras are monochrome with no bayer filter. It makes more sense that way.
Not for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) "Curiosity", detailed specifications can be found here including some pre-launch test images. ;)

The Panoramic Cameras (Pancams) located on the Pancam Mast Assembly (PMA) of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission - A (MER - A) "Spirit" and Mars Exploration Rover Mission - B (MER - B) "Opportunity" do utilised a monochrome Charge-Coupled Device (CCD (albeit a lower resolution one by Zarlink Semiconductor)) along with a total of 16 separate filters for multispectral imaging.

Much geological and mineralogical information can be obtained just the spectral reflectance and wavelength alone.





Interesting ay. :)

Clarification: While the MSL utilised CCDs with a Bayer Pattern Filter (BPF) array, the MERs does not and are monochrome instead. My bad.
 

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#15
Another consideration may be fault tolerance and redundancy taking into account the ageing and soon to be overloaded National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) / Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Deep Space Network (DSN). Makes a huge and significant difference between sending 100,000 coloured images or 300,000 separated Red / Green / Blue (RGB) images especially since the uplink data transmission rate from the X-band (7.9 to 8.4 GHz) Low-Gain Antenna (LGA) or High-Gain Antenna (HGA) are limited to just a couple of hundred to several thousand bits per second (bit/s) in an event the Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) antenna which transmit data at a maximum rate of 2 megabits per second (Mbit/s) and 128 or 256 kilobits per second (kbit/s) to the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) or the Mars Odyssey respectively does fail in anyway.

So, at 1:30pm on Monday, why else will be trying to follow this descent with a bucket of popcorn?
Live broadcast from NASA TV begins on the 6th of August 2012, 1130 hours SST (Singapore Standard Time / UTC +8).

High-Definition (HD) NASA TV @ Ustream.

[video=youtube;Ki_Af_o9Q9s]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ki_Af_o9Q9s[/video]
YouTube Video ID No. KI_AF_O9Q9S
 

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#16


All right! Less than 90 minutes till cruise stage separation of the aeroshell and Entry Interface (EI).

Do note that there may be three intermediate lost of signal events (particularly spacecraft tracking telemetry and uplink data acquisition) between Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) "Curiosity" and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) / Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Deep Space Network (DSN) as the spacecraft begin its multistage separation sequence and switches over to a separate X-band (7.9 to 8.4 GHz) Low-Gain Antennas (LGA) or High-Gain Antennas (HGA) during the Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL).

Direct data link will also be permanently lost as MSL "Curiosity" subsequently descend below the Martian Line of Sight (LOS) horizon towards NASA / JPL DSN on Earth and contact may not be reestablish for several minutes, hours or even days after landing depending whether if the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) or the Mars Odyssey manage to intercept and relay the signal back.
 

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#17
Successful touchdown. :gbounce:


First Ever Images From Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) "Curiosity" On Mars


Third and Final Image From Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) "Curiosity" On Mars Before Data Link From Mars Odyssey Was Lost As Anticipated​

Images as captured from engineering Hazard Avoidance Cameras (HazCams) in monochrome.
 

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UncleFai

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#18
Does that make Mars a territory of the United States?
 

UncleFai

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#19
Successful touchdown. :gbounce:


First Ever Images From Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) "Curiosity" On Mars


Third and Final Image From Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) "Curiosity" On Mars Before Data Link From Mars Odyssey Was Lost As Anticipated​
How to confirm that this was not done inside a studio in Hollywood like many said the moon landing were?
 

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