The ExoMars Rover Instrument Suite
PanCam - the Panoramic Camera
Principal Investigator: Andrew Coates, MSSL/University College London, London, United Kingdom
Co-Principal Investigator (High Resolution Camera): Ralf Jaumann, DLR/IPF, Berlin, Germany
Co-Principal Investigator (Wide Angle Cameras): Jean-Luc Josset, Space Exploration Institute, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
ExoMars instrument system engineer: Andrew Ball, Directorate of Science and Robotic Exploration, European Space Agency
The PanCam - panoramic camera - has been designed to search for textural information on rocks (for example, laminations or pitting) that can be related to the presence of organisms on Mars. PanCam will also capture other information that will help in revealing the geological characteristics of the Martian environment.
This instrument will provide stereo and 3D imagery of the terrain around the Rover, for the benefit of the mission as a whole. In particular, the Panoramic Camera will be used:
PanCam will also support the scientific measurements of other Rover instruments. It will capture high-resolution images of locations that are difficult to access, such as craters or rock walls. Then, it will monitor the sample from the drill before it is ingested and crushed inside the Rover, where the Analytical Laboratory instruments will perform a detailed chemical, physical, and spectral analysis.
PanCam is composed of:
PanCam is supplemented by a 5-cm diameter calibration target and by a small spherical mirror, the Rover Inspection Mirror (RIM), which enable the camera to capture images of items that are not directly in the field of view. The images taken are then processed and can be used to check the status of the Rover.
A number of tests for PanCam have been carried out, including a series of tests in simulated Martian conditions (AMASE expeditions) using a prototype of the instrument. The images taken in the field in August 2009 were used as inputs to create realistic 3D models of the terrain.
Last Update: 03 Apr 2013