Opportunity Celebrates 10 Years on Mars

  Enquire / contact me

Equipped with maxon brushed DC motors

Opportunity Celebrates 10 Years on Mars
Opportunity Celebrates 10 Years on Mars

Ten years ago, the NASA rovers Opportunity and Spirit landed on Mars. Today, Opportunity is still exploring Mars - an unbelievably long time, considering the robot was only designed to last about 90 days. It has covered a distance of approximately 39 kilometers so far and continues to roam around a vast area. On board, 39 maxon brushed DC motors can be found.

On January 25, 2004, the Mars rover Opportunity landed in the Eagle crater. Since then, it has been investigating the planet for NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), a USA agency responsible for the exploration of space. It has examined a number of craters, dunes, and flats, always searching for traces of water. It did not take long before Opportunity found first indications (sediment structures, minerals) that there used to be water on Mars. The Mars rover is able to take photos, brush the ground and drill into stone and it continues to do so today. "The rover is in exceptionally good condition for its age", says John Callas, a manager at NASA. However, things haven't always been easy for the rover in the past ten years. Its wheels have become stuck in the sand requiring a very difficult maneuver to release them once again. Sand storms disabled the solar panels and prevented the batteries from recharging. Opportunity is now starting to show a few small symptoms of aging: the 185 kg robot has a bit of "memory loss" - every now and again, its hard disk shows signs of wear caused by the long period of use.

With drives manufactured by maxon motor, Opportunity has been able to safely navigate the surface of Mars for ten years. The rover contains a total of 39 brushed DC motors that are all still operating reliably. They are used to drive the robotic arm, the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT), the cameras, the control mechanism and the wheels of the rover. The motors are standard products with diameters of 20 to 25 millimeters and an efficiency of over 90 percent. Minor modifications were necessary to adapt the DC motors for the harsh environmental conditions: the temperature on the surface of Mars fluctuates between approximately -120 °C and +25 °C.

Posted on January 28, 2014 - (153 views)
by
Related articles
Endress+Hauser Opens Calibration and Training Center in Saudi Arabia
Danfoss Drives Presented its Latest Novelties at SPS IPC Drives 2018
Rockwell Presents the iTrack System at SPS IPC Drives 2018
Microscope Optics by Optris Presented at SPS IPC Drives
Aucotec Presents the DCS Portal at SPS IPC Drives 2018
LMI Technologies Receives the Certification for Integration with Universal Robots
SIKO Presents the PositionLine at SPS IPC Drives 2018 with IEN Europe
SIKO Presents the MagLine at SPS IPC Drives with IEN Europe
Better HMI and Evolution from PCBs to PLCs Pave the Way for New Market Opportunities
Interface Technology
Sensing Innovation in Process and Control
Ultrasonic Flowmeter TRX
Hannay Reels Delivers Every Time
Multi-protocol Network Diagnostics
Take your Manufacturing to the Edge. Connect Everything
Power in new Dimensions - BXT Motor Family
Mechanical Position Sensor MP600 Series
Heaters of H series
3 Phase Book Style EMC Filter
Leading Distributor in Automation & Robotics Technology
Labfacility L60+ Thermocouple & Fine Wire Welder
Integrated Servo Motor
Single-Stage Filter
Medical Grade PC
High Speed and High Definition Camera
Multi-function Sensor Module
Drive for Marine Installations
AC/DC Desktop Power Adapters
Monitoring Fugitive Emissions & Leaks
Integrated Drive for Induction Motors
Rockwell Presents the iTrack System at SPS IPC Drives 2018
Microscope Optics by Optris Presented at SPS IPC Drives
Aucotec Presents the DCS Portal at SPS IPC Drives 2018
LMI Technologies Receives the Certification for Integration with Universal Robots
SIKO Presents the PositionLine at SPS IPC Drives 2018 with IEN Europe
SIKO Presents the MagLine at SPS IPC Drives with IEN Europe
Multi-protocol Network Diagnostics
Interroll Launches its Versatile Drive Platform at Sauber Motorsport
Brushless Flat DC-Servomotors with more torque
Labfacility L60+ Thermocouple & Fine Wire Welder