Capturing High Definition Footage of NASA’s Perseverance Rover Landing on Mars with Machine Vision Cameras

Image Credit: FLIR Systems

NASA landed the Perseverance Rover on Mars successfully on February 18th. Although it was not the first Mars mission, it was the first time that the entry, descent and landing of a spacecraft was filmed and broadcasted live for the public to observe and participate in virtually.

The event was captured from multiple angles by 6 FLIR machine vision cameras which recorded every step of the thrilling touchdown. It was just a few minutes long, but the footage has already helped engineers assess how well their work did in space, and it also inspired millions of viewers all over the globe.

There is a lot happening in those short minutes of the Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) of the rover and a breakdown of the angles and images seen is outlined below.

Perseverance Rover’s Descent and Touchdown on Mars (Official NASA Video)

Video Credit: FLIR Systems

The parachute deploys around 7 miles (11 kilometers) from the surface after entering the Martian atmosphere. Three up-looking cameras began recording just prior to this point and gathered footage of the supersonic deployment of the biggest parachute ever sent to space.

Perseverance’s Descent & Touchdown on Mars: Parachute Up-View Camera POV (Official NASA Clip)

Video Credit: FLIR Systems

The heat shield (utilized to protect the rover during entry into the Martian atmosphere) drops five miles off the ground and exposes the rover down-look camera, revealing some of the rover’s intense ride to Mars’ Jezero Crater.

Perseverance’s Descent & Touchdown on Mars: Rover Descent Camera POV (Official NASA Clip)

Video Credit: FLIR Systems

Next, the rover drops away from the parachute and back shell. Its descent is then managed by a rocket-powered descent stage known as the 'SkyCrane.' Below is a view of the rover, which was captured by a down-looking camera on the SkyCrane.

Perseverance’s Descent & Touchdown on Mars: Descent Stage Down-Look Camera POV (Official NASA Clip)

Video Credit: FLIR Systems

The next image is the rover landing. The image below is collected from a camera on the rover of the SkyCrane being swept away as the rover touches down on the surface of Mars to start its mission.

Perseverance’s Descent & Touchdown on Mars: Rover Up-Look Camera POV (Official NASA Clip)

Video Credit: FLIR Systems

The cameras which were utilized to capture this footage are FLIR RGB machine vision cameras which include five 1.3-megapixel cameras and one 3.1-megapixel USB camera.

Our cameras are designed for operation on Earth, and not built to operate in outer space, so we were quite thrilled that NASA put them to the test.

Sadiq Panjwani, VP of Integrated Imaging Solutions (IIS) Division, FLIR

In order to investigate suitable cameras for the EDL (Entry, Descent Landing) system, NASA started contacting FLIR in 2015. The engineers were searching for commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware with an emphasis on ease of system integration and low cost.

FLIR machine vision cameras have been subjected to the high gravity forces or extreme temperatures or experienced during a Mars landing for the first time and everyone involved in manufacture and engineering of cameras at FLIR is extremely excited about this confirmation of their performance and durability.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by FLIR Systems.

For more information on this source, please visit FLIR Systems.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    FLIR Systems. (2021, March 31). Capturing High Definition Footage of NASA’s Perseverance Rover Landing on Mars with Machine Vision Cameras. AZoSensors. Retrieved on July 30, 2021 from https://www.azosensors.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=2181.

  • MLA

    FLIR Systems. "Capturing High Definition Footage of NASA’s Perseverance Rover Landing on Mars with Machine Vision Cameras". AZoSensors. 30 July 2021. <https://www.azosensors.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=2181>.

  • Chicago

    FLIR Systems. "Capturing High Definition Footage of NASA’s Perseverance Rover Landing on Mars with Machine Vision Cameras". AZoSensors. https://www.azosensors.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=2181. (accessed July 30, 2021).

  • Harvard

    FLIR Systems. 2021. Capturing High Definition Footage of NASA’s Perseverance Rover Landing on Mars with Machine Vision Cameras. AZoSensors, viewed 30 July 2021, https://www.azosensors.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=2181.

Ask A Question

Do you have a question you'd like to ask regarding this article?

Leave your feedback
Submit