Futek & Metromatics – Celebrating Mars Rover Curiosity
FUTEK and Metromatics are celebrating Mars Rover Curiosity. Why? Because seven years ago, The Curiosity Rover touched down on Mars, following a nine-month, 563 million-km journey from Earth. Since then the rover has been sending back invaluable data from the red planet. It has travelled 21km and traversed 368mt to its current position.
One of Curiosity’s goals is to gather more information about the existence of water on Mars. The question that’s been stumping scientists and that they hope to answer is “what did cause the end of water on the Red Planet?”
FUTEK load cells and torque sensors control the mission-essential robotic arm that provides force and torque feedback to the robotic arm controller. After the original drill-stabilising function failed, FUTEK sensors were repurposed to resume sample drilling. After the failure, NASA engineers tested out numerous solutions to see how they could continue drilling on Mars. This extraordinary feat came in the form of using the Futek multi-axis force sensors in the robotic arm to push the drill bit forward as it spins in a new technique called Feed Extended Drilling (FED).
These innovative approaches by the JPL mission controllers have allowed Curiosity to surpass its planned nine-month mission as it continues on its quest to send back extraordinary science from the surface of Mars.
We look forward to following NASA and the Curiosity mission as it continues on.
About FUTEK: FUTEK Advanced Sensor Technology, Inc. is a U.S. Manufacturer of load cells, torque sensors, pressure sensors, multi-axis sensors and related instruments and software. Located in Southern California, FUTEK has built a reputation as a quality provider of test and measurement tools. As the Sensor Solution Source, FUTEK supplies test and measurement products to many industries, especially medical, robotic, and aerospace.
For more information on the FUTEK product range in Australia or New Zealand, contact us.