Thermal Design Trade Study for the Mars Science Laboratory ChemCam Body Unit
The Mars Science Laboratory will be the next Martian mobility system that is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2011. The ChemCam Instrument is a part of the MSL science payload suite. It is innovative for planetary exploration in using a technique referred to as laser breakdown spectroscopy to determine the chemical composition of samples from distances of up to about 9 meters away. ChemCam is led by a team at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Centre d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements in Toulouse, France. The portion of ChemCam that is located inside the Rover, the ChemCam Body Unit contains the imaging charged-coupled device (CCD) detectors. Late in the design cycle, the ChemCam team explored alternate thermal design architectures to provide CCD operational overlap with the Rover's remote sensing instruments. This operational synergy is necessary to enable planning for subsequent laser firings and geological context.