OptoSigma’s optical components installed on Mars Rover Perseverance

Aug. 3, 2020
Nineteen optical components have been installed in the SuperCam, a remote optical sensing instrument equipped on NASA’s Mars Rover Perseverance.

Nineteen optical components from OptoSigma, a subsidiary of Sigma Koki (Tokyo, Japan) have been installed in the SuperCam remote optical sensing instrument equipped on NASA’s Mars Rover Perseverance. The Rover Perseverance had a successful launch on July 30, 2020 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, and is scheduled to land in the Jezero Crater on the Red Planet on February 18, 2021.

Sigma Koki's subsidiaries, OptoSigma Europe (Les Ulis, France) and OptoSigma USA (Santa Ana, CA), have been working in collaboration with the French Laboratory Observatoire de Paris in France (Paris Observatory), Los Alamos National Laboratories (LANL; Los Alamos, NM), and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL; Pasadena, CA). Nearly 50% of the optics onboard the rover are supplied by the OptoSigma group, such as mirrors, lenses, and prisms within the SuperCam.

Mounted on the head of the rover’s mast, the SuperCam acquires high-resolution images of samples with a remote color micro-imager. The SuperCam integrates remote laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy, and visible and infrared reflectance spectroscopy capabilities.

The main objectives of Perseverance are to search and assess for signs of ancient life, to collect rock and soil samples that could be returned to Earth, and to prove new technology for future robotic and human exploration. 

Optical components supplied by the Sigma Koki group (OptoSigma) have passed a variety of rigorous tests, such as vacuum, temperature, humidity, and heat cycle tests, conducted by external agencies specialized for testing to withstand the operation in special and harsh climatic conditions on Mars, while meeting the advanced optical requirements needed for the Mars exploration.

“It is a great honor for the Sigma Koki group (OptoSigma) to work with the world-renowned Paris Observatory, LANL, and JPL on the Perseverance project. This project highlights our capabilities and over 40 years of manufacturing experience to enable the support of highly specialized applications and use environments. We look forward to many more years of successful collaborations,” says Yosuke Kondo, President and CEO of Sigma Koki and Chairman of OptoSigma. 

For more information, please visit optosigma.com

Source: OptoSigma press release – August 3, 2020 

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LFW Staff

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