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Technical Paper

The CHEMCAM Instrument on Mars Science Laboratory (MSL 11): First Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy Instrument in Space!

ChemCam is one of the 10 instrument suites on the Mars Science Laboratory, a martian rover being built by Jet Propulsion Laboratory, for the next NASA mission to Mars (MSL 2009). ChemCam is an instrument package consisting of two remote sensing instruments: a Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) and a Remote Micro-Imager (RMI). LIBS provides elemental compositions of rocks and soils, while the RMI places the LIBS analyses in their geomorphologic context. Both instruments rely on an autofocus capability to precisely focus on the chosen target, located at distances from the rover comprised between 1 and 9 m for LIBS, and 2 m and infinity for RMI. ChemCam will help determine which samples, within the vicinity of the MSL rover, are of sufficient interest to use the contact and in-situ instruments for further characterization.
Technical Paper

Integrated Pump Assembly - An Active Cooling System for Mars Pathfinder Thermal Control

The Mars Pathfinder spacecraft which will be launched in December 1996 features an active cooling system for controlling the temperature of the spacecraft. This will be the first time that such a mechanical pump cooling system is used on an interplanetary or long duration flight (over two weeks) in space. The major element of the cooling system is the Integrated Pump Assembly (IPA). It uses centrifugal pumps to circulate liquid freon to transfer heat from spacecraft electronics to an external radiator. The IPA consists of redundant pumps, motor control electronics, thermal control valves, check valves, and an accumulator. The design and flight implementation of this pump assembly were accomplished in less than two years. This paper describes the design, fabrication, assembly, and testing of the IPA.
Technical Paper

Development of Guidelines for Use of Electron (EEEE) Devices Subjected to Long-Term Storage

“Today's electronic components rely on principles of physics and science with no manufacturing precedence and little data on long term stability and reliability.” [1] Yet many are counting on their reliable performance years if not decades into the future, sometimes after being literally abandoned in barns or stored neatly in tightly sealed bags. What makes sense? To toss everything away, or use it as is and hope for the best? Surely there must be a middle ground! With an unprecedented number of missions in its future and an ever-tightening budget, NASA faces the daunting task of doing more with less. One proven way for a project to save money is to use already screened and qualified devices from the spares of its predecessors. But what is the risk in doing so? How can a project reliably count on the value of spare devices if the risk of using them is not, in itself, defined?
Technical Paper

Combined Loads, Vibration, and Modal Testing of the QuikSCAT Spacecraft

Combining the quasi-static loads, workmanship verification, and model validation tests of aerospace hardware into a single vibration test sequence can considerably reduce schedule and cost. The enabling factor in the implementation of the combined dynamic testing approach is the measurement of the dynamic forces exerted on the test item by the shaker. The dynamic testing of the QuikSCAT spacecraft is discussed as an example of a successful combined loads, workmanship, and model validation test program.