Omnetics helps guide Curiosity to a safe landing on Mars
MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — On August 6th, the world sat still quietly awaiting word of a Mars landing, and at 1:25 am ET that wait was over. “Curiosity” the world’s largest object ever placed on Mars emerged. Treading the path that many countries and researchers have tried, developed and failed, “Curiosity” stands alone on many fronts. From the research and development stages, to the much talked about seven minutes of terror, each component aboard had a distinct job to do. Omnetics space qualified pin and socket nano-miniature connectors were of those vital components aboard. Omnetics electronic connectors provided over a dozen .025″ pitch (.64mm) nano connectors used within two Miniature Inertial Measurement Units (MIMU) aboard “Curiosity”. These components were vital in terms of ensuring a safe landing for “Curiosity” on the red planet. Connector designs can be seen at http://www.omnetics.com.
Working within the two MIMU’s, Omnetics connectors supported electronics to provide satellite guidance and altitude control back to the folks in mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This particular aspect of the mission to Mars was vital in terms of ensuring a safe landing. Traveling at nearly 13,000 MPH leading into the final stages, “Curiosity” had less than seven miles to come to a screeching halt, and the SUV sized rover certainly did not disappoint, neither did the components involved. This was Omnetics Connector Corporations second successful mission to Mars since 2008, with the Phoenix Mars Rover being the first.
Omnetics materials have been specifically selected for thermal-expansion match to sustain continued performance from launch pad through geo-thermal orbit conditions. Materials also are tested to insure low out-gassing as temperatures vary significantly during the trip. Increased densification of cable diameter and nano-miniature connectors offer significantly reduced weight and lower payload costs. Special designs are also easily achievable with the help of Omnetics design team to help with unique cable requirements to solve EMI, cross-talk and high speed problems. Connector back-shells, strain-reliefs, braided shields and special cables are often used to improve handling and extend life critical system. Additional product information can be found at http://www.omnetics.com
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SOURCE Omnetics Connector Corporation