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Close-UP Imager (CLuPI)
Operator European Space Agency
Manufacturer ESA
Instrument type Visible light camera

Close-up HD imaging

≥ 7 months[1]
Began operations Planned: March 2021
Mass 932 g
Dimensions 170 × 80 × 100 mm
Power consumption 15 W
Host Spacecraft
Spacecraft ExoMars rover
Operator ESA/Roscosmos
Launch date July 2020[2]
Rocket Proton
COSPAR ID {{#property:P247}}

CLUPI (Close-UP Imager) is a miniaturized camera system on board the planned European Space Agency ExoMars rover. CLUPI was designed to acquire high-resolution close-up images in colour of soils, outcrops, rocks, drill fines and drill core samples,[3] as well as and the search for potential biosignature structures and patterns.[4] This camera assembly is part of the science payload on board the European Space Agency's ExoMars rover,[5] tasked to search for biosignatures and biomarkers on Mars. The rover is planned to be launched in July 2020 and land on Mars in March 2021.

Overview[edit | edit source]

The CLUPI instrument is being developed by a Swiss–French consortium supported by the Swiss Space Office and the French Space Agency (CNES). Its Principal Investigator is Jean-Luc Josset, from the Swiss Space Office in Switzerland. Frances Westall and Beda Hofmann are Co-PIs.[4] The science team includes scientists from Canada, Europe and Russia, especially for biosignature recognition.[4] Instrument field tests started in 2009 with preliminary CLUPI systems tested during several Arctic winters.[4]

CLUPI will be mounted on the movable rover's drill box and it will acquire high-resolution, close-up images in colour of the texture, structure and morphology of rocks and soil.[3] The resolution will be similar to what geologists would obtain by using a hand-held magnifying lens:[4] at a distance of 10 cm from the target, the maximum resolution is 7 µm/pixel.[3] Its field of view can be changed by the use of two fixed mirrors – one flat (FOV2) and one concave (FOV3). The CLUPI visual images will complement those provided by PanCam to provide the context necessary for interpretation of mineralogy and potential visible biosignatures.[4]

CLUPI will observe the drilling area very closely from different angles to help characterise rock structures such as embedded crystals and fractures. After the drill has been used and retracted, CLUPI will be used to image the amount and appearance of dislodged fines. From the high position, the camera will be able to observe the borehole to a depth of approximately 10 cm, depending on the local illumination conditions.[3] Then, CLUPI will be used to image the collected core prior to delivery to the rovers' internal analytical instruments for further processing and analyses. [3]

CLUPI Performance/units[3][4]
Detector Full colour Active Pixel Sensor (APS)
3 colours
Image dimension 2652 × 1768 pixels
Field of view 14°
Image resolution 7 µm/pixel at 10 cm distance, viewed area 1.9 cm × 1.3 cm
39 µm/pixel at 50 cm distance, viewed area 10 cm × 7 cm
79 µm/pixel at 100 cm distance, viewed area 21 cm × 14 cm
Focal length Variable: 10 cm to infinity
Exposure time ≤ 1024 seconds
Automatic exposure time.
Spectral range 400 – 700 nm
Mass 932 g
Data storage 4 Gb
Max power consumption 15 W

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Vago, Jorge L.; et al. (July 2017). "Habitability on Early Mars and the Search for Biosignatures with the ExoMars Rover". Astrobiology. 17 (6-7): 471–510. Bibcode:2017AsBio..17..471V. doi:10.1089/ast.2016.1533. 
  2. "Second ExoMars mission moves to next launch opportunity in 2020" (Press release). European Space Agency. 2 May 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2016. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 The ExoMars Rover Instrument Suite: CLUPI - Close-UP Imager. ESA. Accessed 30 July 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 "The Close-Up Imager Onboard the ESA ExoMars Rover: Objectives, Description, Operations, and Science Validation Activities". Josset J.-L., et al., Astrobiology. July 2017, 17(6-7), 595-611. doi:10.1089/ast.2016.1546
  5. ExoMars: Searching for Life on Mars. Elizabeth Howell, March 15, 2017.

This article uses material from CLUPI on Wikipedia (view authors). License under CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikipedia logo
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