With the successful landing last August, NASA’s Curiosity rover is maneuvering the surface of Mars, analyzing samples of soil. Two sensors were developed by FUTEK for Curiosity. The first is a cryogenic multi-axial load and torsion sensor responsible for monitoring the rover’s drilling arm and its robotic maneuvers as it retrieves sediments for analysis.

A secondary cryogenic load cell sits aboard to supervise the precision and force used to drill directly into the Martian surface. Both sensors are designed to operate around the clock in temperature cycles from 23 °F to as low as -124 °F.

Cryogenic sensor and load cell
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NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the January, 2013 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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