NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Mechanical Description of the Mars Climate Sounder InstrumentThis paper introduces the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) Instrument of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft. The instrument scans the Martian atmosphere almost continuously to systematically acquire weather and climate observations over time. Its primary components are an optical bench that houses dual telescopes with a total of nine channels for visible and infrared sensing, and a two axis gimbal that provides pointing capabilities. Both rotating joints consist of an integrated actuator with a hybrid planetary/harmonic transmission and a twist cap section that enables the electrical wiring to pass through the rotating joint. Micro stepping is used to reduce spacecraft disturbance torques to acceptable levels while driving the stepper motors. To ensure survivability over its four year life span, suitable mechanical components, lubrication, and an active temperature control system were incorporated. Some life test results and lessons learned are provided to serve as design guidelines for actuator parts and flex cables.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Jau, Bruno M. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
March 3, 2008
Subject Category
Spacecraft Instrumentation and Astrionics
Report/Patent Number
IEEEAC paper 1670
Meeting Information
2008 IEEE Aerospace Conference(Big Sky, MT)
Distribution Limits
rotating joints
Mars Climate Sounder (MCS)