International collaboration takes Vaisala and the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) to Mars onboard NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover. The rover is scheduled to launch on July 30, 2020. Vaisala's sensor technology combined with FMI's measurement instrumentation will be used to obtain accurate and reliable pressure and humidity data from the surface of the red planet.
The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) is among the scientific partners providing measurement equipment for the new Perseverance rover, expected to launch in July and land on Mars in February 2021.Â The pressure and humidity measurement devices developed by the FMI are based on Vaisala’s world known sensor technologyÂ and are similar but more advanced to the ones sent to Mars on the first Curiosity rover in 2012.Â
The new mission equipment complements the Curiosity rover. While working on Mars, the Curiosity and PerseveranceÂ rovers¯will¯form a small-scale observation network. The network is only¯the¯first step, anticipating the extensiveÂ observationÂ network planned on MarsÂ inÂ the future.
International and scientific collaboration aims to gather knowledge of the Martian atmosphere and other environmental conditions
The Mars 2020 mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program. In order toÂ obtainÂ data from the surface from the Red Planet, NASAÂ selected trustedÂ partnersÂ to provide measurement instrumentsÂ for installationÂ on the MarsÂ rover.Â AÂ Spanish-led European consortium provides theÂ rover withÂ Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA); a set of sensors that provides measurements of temperature, wind speed and direction, pressure, relative humidity, and the amount and size of dust particles.Â
As part of the consortium, FMI delivers instrumentation to MEDA for humidity and pressure measurements based onÂ Vaisala'sÂ top qualityÂ sensors.
Mars, as well as Venus, the other sister planet of Earth, is a particularly important area of atmospheric investigations due to its similarities to Earth. Studying Mars helps us also better understand the behavior of Earth's atmosphere, comments Maria Genzer, Head of Planetary Research and Space Technology group at FMI.
The harsh and demanding conditionsÂ of MarsÂ require theÂ most reliable sensor technology that provides accurate and reliable data withoutÂ maintenance or repair.
“We are honored that Vaisala's core sensor technologies have been selected to provide accurate and reliable measurement data on Mars. In line with our mission to enable observations for a better world, we are excited to be part of this collaboration. Hopefully the measurement technology will provide tools for finding answers to the most pressing challenges of our time, such as climate change, saysÂ LiisaÂ Ã…strÃ¶m,Â Vice President, Products and Systems of Vaisala.
Same technology, different planet “ utilizing Vaisala core technologies for accuracy and long-term stability
InÂ the¯extreme conditions of the Martian atmosphere, NASAÂ will be able to obtain¯accurate readings of pressure and humidity levels with Vaisala's¯HUMICAPÂ® and BAROCAPÂ® sensors.¯The sensors’ long-term stability and accuracy, as well as their ability to tolerate dust, chemicals, and harshÂ environmental conditions, makeÂ them suitable for very demandingÂ measurement needs, also in space. The same technology is used in numerous industrial and environmental applications such as weather stations, radiosondes, greenhouses and datacenters.
The humidity measurement device MEDA HS, developed by FMI for Perseverance, utilizesÂ standard Vaisala HUMICAPÂ®Â humidity sensors. HUMICAPÂ® is a capacitive thin-film polymer sensor consisting of a substrate on which a thin film of polymer is deposited between two conductive electrodes.Â The humidity sensor onboard is a new generation sensor, with superior performance also in the low pressure conditions expected on the red planet.
In addition to humidity measurements, FMI has developed a device for pressure measurement, MEDA PS, which uses customized Vaisala BAROCAPÂ® pressure sensors, optimized to operate in the Martian climate.Â BAROCAPÂ® is a silicon-based micromechanical pressure sensor that offers reliable performance in a wide variety of applications, from meteorology to pressure sensitive industrial equipment in semiconductor industry and laboratory pressure standard measurements.Â Combining two powerful technologies “ single-crystal silicon material and capacitive measurement “ BAROCAPÂ® sensors feature low hysteresis combined with excellent accuracy and long-term stability, both essential for measurements in space.Â
Our sensor technologies are used widely in demanding everyday measurement environments here on Earth. And why not “ if they work on Mars, they will work anywhere,” Ã…strÃ¶m concludes.Â
Is there anybody out there? Yes we are! Join us for the live webcast to hear more!
WelcomeÂ toÂ learn about space-proof technology, how it works, what it does, why¯it's¯important, and whyÂ measurements play a key role in space research. You'll hear examples and stories by our experts, and by a special guest speaker, who will be sharing his own experiences and insights of space.
Date: July 20, 2020Â
Time: 15.30-16.30Â EEST /Â 14.30-15.30Â CEST /Â 08.30-09.30Â EDTÂ
Place: Virtual event “ sign up:Â Â Sign up hereÂ
The event is organized by Vaisala and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.Â It will be held in English and it¯is free of charge.Â Live subtitles in Finnish will be available.
Learn more aboutÂ space-proof technologyÂ before the event by visitingÂ vaisala.com/spaceÂ and follow the discussion on social mediaÂ usingÂ #spacetechFI.Â Â
More information for the media:
Miia Lahti, Communications Manager, Vaisala
Â +358 50 555 4420, email@example.com
Kaisa RyynÃ¤nen, Communications Specialist, Finnish Meteorological Institute
+ 358 29Â 539 2283, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vaisala is a global leader in weather, environmental, and industrial measurements. Building on over 80 years of experience, Vaisala provides observations for a better world. We are a reliable partner for customers around the world, offering a comprehensive range of innovative observation and measurement products and services. Headquartered in Finland, Vaisala employs approximately 1,800 professionals worldwide and is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki stock exchange.Â
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The Finnish Meteorological Institute is a research and service agency under the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Its mission is to produce high-quality observation and research data on the atmosphere and seas. The Institute combines this expertise into the weather, climate and oceanographic services it provides to promote public safety as well as increase well-being in the society and the environment, taking into account the needs to maintain preparedness. More information about FMI in space: https://space.fmi.fi