Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Measurement Specialties’ Temperature Sensors Deployed on Mars Curiosity Rover

Measurement Specialties, Inc. (MEAS: NASDAQ) confirmed today that their space qualified temperature thermistors are part of the SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) suite investigation contained in the MSL analytical laboratory on board the Mars Curiosity Rover. The primary mission of SAM is to investigate the capability of Mars to have supported life in the past, if it can support life now and in the future. Working in unison, the quadrupole mass spectrometer, gas chromatograph and tunable laser spectrometer assist in this mission by providing the capability to identify organic compounds. These instruments are supported by a chemical and processing laboratory that is equipped with temperature monitors.

Glen MacGibbon, Vice President of Sales and Marketing stated “We are very excited to be part of this historic mission and are confident that our temperature sensors will meet or exceed performance expectations.” The fact that Measurement Specialties has had many successes in monitoring temperatures in space was a significant factor in the selection of their technology for use on the Curiosity Rover. This was confirmed by Brian Seiter, Application Engineer at Measurement Specialties. “Our thermistors are typically chosen as we are the only qualified provider of parts to the NASA GSFC S-311-P-18 space flight specification and consequently are found on many existing satellites.”
The 2000 lbs Curiosity Rover landed on Mars in Gale Crater on August 6, 2012 using an innovative parachute and jetpack procedure. The crater itself is approximately 96 miles across and contains a 3-mile high mound named Mount Sharp. The stratified layers of this mound will provide researchers with a history of environmental conditions. Selection of Gale Crate as the landing site was a 5 year process that involved more than 150 scientists and consideration of at least 60 sites.

Measurement Specialties, Inc. designs and manufactures sensors and sensor-based systems. The company produces a wide variety of sensors and transducers to measure precise ranges of physical characteristics such as pressure, force, vibration, torque, position, temperature, humidity, fluid properties, mass air flow and photo optics. Measurement Specialties uses multiple advanced technologies – including piezo-resistive, electro-optic, electro-magnetic, variable reluctance, magneto resistive, digital encoders, thermistors, thermocouples, RTDs, capacitive, resonant beam, application specific integrated circuits (ASICs), micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), piezoelectric polymers and strain gauges to engineer sensors that operate accurately and cost-effectively in customers' applications.

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