Sierra Lobo Provides Significant Contributions to Mars 2020 Camera Design and Development

On August 5, 2019, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) posted a Mars 2020 Rover article on its website, titled “NASA ‘Optometrists’ Verify Mars 2020 Rover’s 20/20 Vision.”

Link to the Article:

Through the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s MEDALS subcontract, Sierra Lobo, Inc. (SLI) engineers supported the design development of Mars 2020 Enhanced Engineering Cameras (EECAM) and related electronic and mechanical ground support equipment. The EECAMs are incorporated into the Navigation (NavCams), Hazard Avoidance (HazCam), and Sample Cachings (CacheCams). Efforts on the flight hardware development included CAD design and fabrication drawing generation for the HazCams, NavCam, and CacheCam cameras. Additionally, finite element analysis (FEA) of the lens assemblies was performed to help predict system performance over the expected Martian environmental extremes. For the CacheCam, SLI engineers assisted in the optomechanical design of the illumination system that enables the camera to determine the amount of Martian rock or soil present in a sample container before it is sealed for eventual return to Earth.

Sierra Lobo’s Technology Development and Engineering Center (TDEC) produced eight (8) electrical ground support equipment units to interface with the flight EECAMs. This four-month project included the completion of a preliminary customer design, electronic and mechanical fabrication, electronic test, and delivery each in accordance with JPL-approved practices and standards. In addition to the hardware itself, SLI also created manufacturing, fabrication, and test plans as well as additional SDRL deliverables.

SLI technical staff supporting the EECAM for this Class B mission include:

Alex Yeckley, Steven Faetanini, Cody Kornowski, Mike Gharakhanian  – Electronics ground support equipment (EGSE), design, fabrication, assembly, and test

Hovik Nazaryan, Violet Malyan – EECAM flight and mechanical ground support equipment (MGSE) design engineering, drawing generation

Myrtle Lin – CacheCam illumination assembly optomechanical design, drawing generation

Jade Cavazos – Optomechanical finite element analysis (FEA)

Chris Smith – Optomechanical engineering

Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Equipped with visionary science instruments, the Mars 2020 rover underwent an “eye” exam after several cameras were installed on it. The rover contains an armada of imaging capabilities, from wide-angle landscape cameras to narrow-angle high-resolution zoom lens cameras.