Industry White Paper

Mars Perseverance Rover Case Study: PYTHON Image Sensors Add Vision To Mars Perseverance EDL

May 11, 2021 by onsemi Download PDF

Case Study Overview

The most challenging phase of the MARS Perseverance mission was the entry, descent, and landing (EDL) – a short and intense seven minutes when the spacecraft entered into the Martian atmosphere at 12,500 miles per hour and safely decelerated down to zero as it touched down on the surface.

The Mars Perseverance Rover included a total of twenty-three cameras used in the engineering, EDL, and science camera systems. EDLCAM systems aimed to capture EDL events in more detail than in previous missions. The camera system took full-color video during the vehicle’s descent through Mars’ atmosphere to the surface. The images captured on the way down helped Perseverance’s mission planners select the rover’s initial drives.

This case study explains why ON Semiconductor's PYTHON Image Sensors were selected for the Mars Perseverance rover. It also describes how these image sensors helped enable the next-generation imaging system of the Perseverance rover to improve the operational capabilities of the Mars 2020 mission by providing the first-ever color video of touchdown on the Martian surface.

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