Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Mars Rover Science Laboratory with Piezo Actuators and Motorized Positioners from PI and PI miCos

Abstract:
Long before Curiosity started its long journey to Mars, when NASA decided to have positioning stages from miCos GmbH and piezoelectric actuators from PI (Physik Instrumente) LP work together millions of miles away on the Red Planet, both companies were not aware that a down-to-earth collaboration lay in their near future.

Mars Rover Science Laboratory with Piezo Actuators and Motorized Positioners from PI and PI miCos

Auburn, MA | Posted on August 28th, 2012

Endless tests (in the case of the piezo actuators 100 Billion cycles) and qualifications had to be passed, before the precision positioning equipment was sent off into space. Failure was not an option, but cost definitely was an issue and budgets are tighter now than in the early days of space exploration. Manufacturers with the best commercial off the shelf products (COTS), proven quality systems and the ability to make the necessary modifications for the tough space requirements are high on the list when it comes to providing the ingredients for a 21st century space mission.

CheMin Instrument: Piezo Stacks for Sample Feed
PI Physik Instrumente's contribution to the Mars mission, the PI Ceramic monolithic piezo actuators (PICMA) were put to use in the Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument (CheMin) described at http://msl-scicorner.jpl.nasa.gov/Instruments/CheMin .

CheMin is an X-ray diffraction-capable mineralogy instrument whose purpose is to determine if water was present in the formation of Martian rocks and soil.

A sample handling system is required to feed mineral powder samples through a funnel into the individual sample cells. The powder in the tunable sample cells must be shaken at variable amplitudes and frequencies in the range of 0.9 to 2.2 kHz to homogenize particle size or density segregations. The precisely controlled vibrations are generated by PICMA multilayer piezo actuators from PI Ceramic. These ceramic-encapsulated actuators emerged after rigorous tests by NASA's JPL as the highest reliability piezo stacks commercially available. Multiple samples passed 100,000,000,000 cycles of life testing with no failures, maintaining greater than 96% of their performance at the end of the test.

ChemCam and the MT-40 Autofocus Positioning Stage by PI miCos
The instrument equipped with the PI miCos precision motorized positioning stage is called ChemCam (Chemistry and Camera instrument), consisting of a laser induced breakdown spectrometer and a high resolution imaging camera.

ChemCam determines through laser-based remote pretesting which rocks in the vicinity of the rover (distances up to 9 m) warrant a closer examination with in-situ instruments.

The high-power laser beam evaporates the rock and the light emitted from the plasma is analyzed with the spectrometer (see http://www.msl-chemcam.com/index.php?menu=inc&page_consult=textes&rubrique=64&sousrubrique=224&soussousrubrique=0&art=259 for further information)

A specially modified and space qualified MT-40 linear positioning stage from PI miCos focuses the analyzing system at the desired distance by translating the secondary mirror of the telescope. Due to violent shocks and vibration during launch and landing, every component in the stage from the stepper motor to the crossed roller bearings and limit switches had to be closely examined and optimized to eliminate the possibility of failure or performance loss. For fast and precise focusing, high resolution and linearity are required and backlash has to be controlled tightly -- not an easy task given the very wide operating temperature range of the instrument. Modeling and thermal compensation were used as well as special vacuum compatible lubricants for all moving parts. In the end the modified stage passed all the tests and the decision to go with a COTS part for cost control reasons proved right.

Shortly before Curiosity left Earth in November 2011, miCos joined the PI family of companies. Together they are now ready to take on any precision positioning challenge, in air, under high vacuum conditions on Earth and in locations as remote as Mars.

####

About PI (Physik Instrumente)
PI is a leading manufacturer of precision motion control equipment, piezo systems, piezo motors and actuators for semiconductor applications, photonics, bio-nano-technology and medical engineering. PI has been developing and manufacturing standard & custom precision products with piezoceramic and electromagnetic drives for 4 decades. The company has been ISO 9001 certified since 1994 and provides innovative, high-quality solutions for OEM and research. PI is present worldwide with 10 subsidiaries, R&D / engineering on 3 continents and total staff of 700+

PI on Twitter: @PI_Physik_Inst http://twitter.com/PI_Physik_Inst

PI Blog: http://physik-instrumente.blogspot.com/

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
PI (Physik Instrumente) LP
16 Albert St.
Auburn, MA 01501

USA / Canada/Mexico: www.pi-usa.us,

Phone: East / Midwest: (508) 832-3456, West: (949) 679-9191

Europe: http://www.pimicos.com, http://www.pi.ws

Germany: +49 (721) 4846-0

Italy: +39 (02) 665 011 01

France: +33 (1) 481 039 30

UK: +44 (1582) 764 334

Asia:
http://www.pi-japan.jp

http://www.pi-singapore.sg

http://www.pikorea.co.kr/

http://www.pi-china.cn

Copyright © PI (Physik Instrumente)

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Nanobiotix establishes promising preclinical proof-of-concept in Immuno Oncology May 31st, 2016

UK NANOSAFETY GROUP publishes 2nd Edition of guidance to support safe working with nanomaterials May 30th, 2016

Fast, stretchy circuits could yield new wave of wearable electronics May 30th, 2016

Automating DNA origami opens door to many new uses: Like 3-D printing did for larger objects, method makes it easy to build nanoparticles out of DNA May 30th, 2016

Announcements

Nanobiotix establishes promising preclinical proof-of-concept in Immuno Oncology May 31st, 2016

UK NANOSAFETY GROUP publishes 2nd Edition of guidance to support safe working with nanomaterials May 30th, 2016

Fast, stretchy circuits could yield new wave of wearable electronics May 30th, 2016

Automating DNA origami opens door to many new uses: Like 3-D printing did for larger objects, method makes it easy to build nanoparticles out of DNA May 30th, 2016

Tools

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Light can 'heal' defects in new solar cell materials: Defects in some new electronic materials can be removed by making ions move under illumination May 24th, 2016

More light on cancer: Scientists created nanoparticles to highlight cancer cells May 21st, 2016

Nanotubes are beacons in cancer-imaging technique: Rice University researchers use spectral triangulation to pinpoint location of tumors May 21st, 2016

Aerospace/Space

Deep Space Industries and SFL selected to provide satellites for HawkEye 360s Pathfinder mission: The privately-funded space-based global wireless signal monitoring system will be developed by Deep Space Industries and UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory May 26th, 2016

Rice de-icer gains anti-icing properties: Dual-function, graphene-based material good for aircraft, extreme environments May 23rd, 2016

Well Leave the Lights On For You: Photonics advances allow us to be seen across the universe, with major implications for the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, says UC Santa Barbara physicist Philip Lubin - See more at: http://www.news.ucsb.edu/2016/016805/we-ll-leave-li May 17th, 2016

Smithsonian Science Education Center and National Space Society Team Up for Next-Generation Space Education Program "Enterprise In Space" May 11th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic