PanCam

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PanCam
Operator European Space Agency
Manufacturer ESA
Instrument type multispectral imaging
Function navigation and science
Mission duration ≥ 7 months[1]
Website exploration.esa.int
Properties
Mass 2.13 kg
Power consumption 9.2 W
Host Spacecraft
Spacecraft ExoMars rover
Operator ESA/Roscosmos
Launch date July 2020[2]
Rocket Proton
COSPAR ID {{#property:P247}}

The PanCam (Panoramic Camera) assembly is a set of two wide angle cameras for multi-spectral stereoscopic panoramic imaging, and a high resolution camera for colour imaging that has been designed to search for textural information or shapes that can be related to the presence of microorganisms on Mars. This camera assembly is part of the science payload on board the European Space Agency's ExoMars rover,[3] 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 | hide all | hide | edit source]

This instrument will provide stereo multispectral images, of the terrain nearby. PanCam are the "eyes" of the rover and its primary navigation system. PanCam will also provide the geological context of the sites being explored and help support the selection of the best sites to carry out exobiology studies, as well as assist in some aspect of atmospheric studies.[4] This system will also monitor the sample from the drill before it is crushed inside the rover, where the analytical instruments will perform a detailed chemical analysis.[4]

The Principal Investigator is Andrew Coates of the University College London in United Kingdom.

Description[edit | hide | edit source]

Spectral parameter[5] Mineralogical
530 nm Ferric minerals (hematite)
530 - 610 nm Ferric minerals and dust
900 nm Best NIR absorption ferric minerals
950 - 1000 nm hydrated minerals
670  nm/440  nm ratio Ferric minerals and dust
610 nm Goethite mineral
950 nm Hydrated minerals, some clays and silicates
440 - 670 nm Related to degree of oxidation

PanCam design includes the following major components: [5]

  • Wide Angle Camera (WAC) pair, for multispectral stereoscopic panoramic imaging, using a miniaturized filter wheel. Both cameras have a focus range from 1 m to infinity.
  • High Resolution Camera (HRC) for high-resolution color images. It has a focus range from 0.98  m to infinity, and it uses a 1 megapixel (1024 × 1024) STAR1000 radiation resistant detector. Its active focus capability allows for an eight-fold better resolution than the WACs.[5]
  • PanCam Interface Unit and DC-DC converter (PIU and DCDC) to provide a single electronic interface.
  • PanCam Optical Bench (OB) to house PanCam and provide protection.

References[edit | hide | 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. ExoMars: Searching for Life on Mars. Elizabeth Howell, Space.com. March 15, 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 PanCam - the Panoramic Camera. ESA. Accesed 24 July 2018.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 The PanCam Instrument for the ExoMars Rover. A.J. Coates, R. Jaumann, A.D. Griffiths, C.E. Leff, N. Schmitz, J.-L. Josset, G. Paar, M. Gunn, E. Hauber, C.R. Cousins. R.E. Cross, P. Grindrod, J.C. Bridges, M. Balme, S. Gupta, A. Crawford, P. Irwin, R. Stabbins, D. Tirsch, J.L. Vago, T. Theodorou, M. Caballo-Perucha, G.R. Osinski, and the PanCam Team Astrobiology, Vol. 17, No. 6-7. 1 July 2017. doi:10.1089/ast.2016.1548

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