Марсход «Настойчивость» на Марсе в представлении художника

Northrop guarantees almost three years of operation of the gyro-stabilizer of the Persistence rover

As already reported, the Perseverance launch window of the Mars rover (Perseverance) was postponed to July 30 and will last until August 15. On Mars, Persistence will look for traces of ancient life, and the heart of its navigation equipment will be the Northrop Grumman gyro stabilizer LN-200S. At NASA’s request, the company tested the LN-200S with the aim of doubling the estimated lifetime of the device. And this requirement has been successfully confirmed.

Mars rover

Mars rover “Persistence” on Mars as presented by the artist (NASA / JPL-Caltech)

The Persistence rover is built on the basis of the successful Curiosity rover, which has been traveling the Red Planet for 8 Martian (15 Earth) years. But the time of its estimated operation was only 90 earth days! The Curiosity navigation system is also based on the Northrop LN-200S gyro stabilizer, which allows us to hope for a long period of reliable operation of the LN-200S as part of Persistence.

The gyro-stabilizer LN-200S belongs to the company’s line of fiber-optic gyroscopes (FOG), which makes it possible to build a device even using LEDs instead of semiconductor lasers, and this is a saving in consumption, which can be quite important for space-based devices. The gyro stabilizer LN-200S is equipped with three fiber-optic gyroscopes and three silicon accelerometers on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). All this is compact, not too heavy and is easily packed in a sealed enclosure.

The mission “Persistence” is designed for 1071 Earth days (1.5 Martian years). At NASA’s request, Northrop conducted a new test of the LN-200S gyro stabilizer and can now guarantee a double increase in the estimated operating time of the device.

Since 1994, Northrop has supplied over 35,000 gyro stabilizers to the LN-200, ranging from submarines to space. The LN-200 range also includes civilian gyrostabilizers (LN-200C), an improved LN-200E with twice the performance, and the soon-expected LN-200HP with seven times the performance. No other than for hypersonic purposes. But that’s another story.

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