Conférence IPR - Eric Durand (Thalès)

Thales' contribution to the ChemCam and SuperCam instruments on the Curiosity and Perseverance Mars rovers

The Perseverance rover has been on Mars for 10 years and the Curiosity rover for 18 months. These two rovers are each equipped with a scientific instrument, ChemCam for Perseverance and SuperCam for Curiosity, whose mission is to detect rocks of interest. Their principle is based on the generation of a rock plasma by a high-powered laser contained in the rover, followed by the spectroscopic analysis of the plasma. Since these techniques do not require sampling, ChemCam and SuperCam allow remote pre-selection of areas to be analyzed in greater detail. To integrate the rover, the power lasers had to be transformed and adapted to the requirements of space travel and the Martian environment for which such high-tech systems had not been designed. This conference will retrace the adventure, led by a team from Thales, of transferring terrestrial technology to the hostile environment of Mars.