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Instruments on the Curiosity and Perseverance Mars Rovers powered by Ultra-High Reliable Piezo Motors and Stepper Motors

Dr. Michael Oldenburg, Product Marketing Manager Motorized Positioners, PI (Physik Instrumente)

Every new mission to our neighboring planet Mars requires components that are reliable and have virtually no risk of failure. The most recent Mars rovers Curiosity and Perseverance utilize motion solutions from PI that fulfill the high requirements for space exploration projects. Both motion solutions were used in the instruments ChemCam, CheMin carried by Curiosity, and SuperCAM carried by Perseverance. In the first part of this presentation, all three instruments are discussed shortly together with the respective PI motion solution. The focus will be the description of the requirements on the components before being used for such high demanding projects. And the last part will describe how PI could develop new types of products based on the experience collected during both opportunities.

Dr. Oldenburg’s PhD in optics and photonics was received from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, where he was also recognized for a best publication in the journal Advanced Materials in the field of Solar Energy from Karlsruhe School of Optics and Photonics. Oldenburg began his PI career as a Technical Sales Engineer, consulting with customers on their demanding applications. Then, he joined the team in Singapore as a Photonics and Industrial Automation Field Application Engineer, tasked with building an Application and Service Centre to develop and test PI’s motion system on real problems. Now, he oversees the Motorized Positioners Portfolio as Product Marketing Manager to translate the current market needs and insights into customer-serving products.