BLOGMARS PERSEVERANCE ROVER


Perseverance Now Selects its Own Targets to Zap
Perseverance's SuperCam Uses AEGIS For the First Time: Navcam image of the scene used by the onboard AEGIS software to select two rock targets to be shot by the SuperCam laser for chemical analysis. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›

Perseverance has continued into Hawksbill Gap, making remote sensing observations of small portions of outcropping rock layers in search of a good place to collect a sample. Since Perseverance is in the Shenandoah quadrangle, we are using target names from Shenandoah National Park. Some of the names this past week included “Bald_Face_Mountain,” “Little_Devil_Stairs,” “Sunset_Hill,” “Luck_Hollow,” and “Moody_Creek.” Perseverance logged nearly 400 meters of driving progress for the week of May 15-21, accumulating a total distance since landing of over 11.8 km as of Sol 446.

This image taken by Perseverance's SuperCam targets a rock on Mars named "AEGIS_0442B," as it was the second rock targeted for analysis on Sol 442.
Perseverance's SuperCam Uses AEGIS For the First Time: SuperCam Remote Micro-Image of one of the two targets selected by the AEGIS software for chemical analysis. The laser targeted a line of ten points indicated by the red crosshairs. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP. Download image ›
In another first, Perseverance selected two targets on Sol 442 and shot them with the SuperCam laser to determine their elemental compositions. Note that it was the rover itself that picked the targets, not the operations team. Normally, when the rover team picks the targets, the observations are not made until the following day. If Perseverance picks its own targets, it can shoot them right after a drive, many hours before the rover team back on Earth has time to receive and analyze the Navcam images from the rover’s new location and select targets. Having the SuperCam results right away can alert the team to unusual compositions in time to make decisions about further analyses before the rover moves on. The software package that enables this target selection is called Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science, or AEGIS, and was developed at JPL for previous rover missions and adapted for SuperCam on Perseverance. AEGIS requests Navcam images to be taken, and it then analyzes the images to find rocks and prioritize them for analysis based on size, brightness, and several other features. It subsequently initiates a sequence in which SuperCam fires its laser to determine the chemical makeup of one or two top priority targets selected from the Navcam images. AEGIS testing on Perseverance started in March by collecting SuperCam Remote Micro-Imager (RMI) images but not firing the laser. After tweaking several parameters on successive tests, the laser was used by AEGIS for the first time last week. The accompanying images show the rocks that were selected and shot. RMI images were taken after the laser shots to indicate where the laser fired. The Perseverance team plans to use AEGIS frequently from now on to provide more rapid data on the composition of rocks around the rover’s path.



About This Blog

These blog updates are provided by self-selected Mars 2020 mission team members who love to share what Perseverance is doing with the public.

Dates of planned rover activities described in these blogs are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

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Contributors+

  • Mariah Baker
    Planetary Scientist, Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum
    Washington, DC
  • Matthew Brand
    SuperCam/ChemCam Engineer, Los Alamos National LaboratoryLos Alamos National Laboratory
  • Sawyer Brooks
    Docking Systems Engineer, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Adrian Brown
    Deputy Program Scientist, NASA HQ
    Washington, DC
  • Denise Buckner
    Student Collaborator, University of Florida
    Gainesville, FL
  • Fred Calef III
    Mapping Specialist, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Alyssa Deardorff
    Systems Engineer, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Kenneth Farley
    Project Scientist, Caltech
    Pasadena, CA
  • Phylindia Gant
    Mars 2020 Student Collaborator, University of Florida
    Gainesville, FL
  • Brad Garczynski
    Student Collaborator, Purdue University
    West Lafayette, IN
  • Erin Gibbons
    Student Collaborator, McGill University
    Montreal, Canada
  • Michael Hecht
    Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) Principal Investigator, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Westford, MA
  • Louise Jandura
    Chief Engineer for Sampling & Caching, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Lydia Kivrak
    Student Collaborator, University of Florida
    Gainesville, FL
  • Rachel Kronyak
    Systems Engineer, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Steven Lee
    Perseverance Deputy Project Manager, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Justin Maki
    Imaging Scientist and Mastcam-Z Deputy Principal Investigator, NASA/JPL
  • Sarah Milkovich
    Assistant Science Manager, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Eleanor Moreland
    Ph.D. Student, Rice University
    Houston, Texas
  • Matt Muszynski
    Vehicle Systems Engineer, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Claire Newman
    Atmospheric Scientist, Aeolis Research
    Altadena, CA
  • Avi Okon
    Sampling Operations Deputy Lead, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Pegah Pashai
    Vehicle Systems Engineer Lead, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • David Pedersen
    Co-Investigator, PIXL Instrument, Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
    Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Eleni Ravanis
    Student Collaborator, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
    Honolulu, HI
  • Kathryn Stack
    Deputy Project Scientist, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Vivian Sun
    Science Operations Systems Engineer, Staff Scientist, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Iona (Brockie) Tirona
    Sampling Engineer, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Jennifer Trosper
    Project Manager, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Vandi Verma
    Chief Engineer for Robotic Operations, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Rick Welch
    Deputy Project Manager, NASA/JPL
    Pasadena, CA
  • Roger Wiens
    Principal Investigator, SuperCam / Co-Investigator, SHERLOC instrument, Purdue University
    West Lafayette, IN

Tools on the Perseverance Rover+

The Perseverance rover has tools to study the history of its landing site, seek signs of ancient life, collect rock and soil samples, and help prepare for human exploration of Mars. The rover carries:


CAMERAS & SPECTROMETERS
GROUND-PENETRATING RADAR
ENVIRONMENTAL SENSORS
TECHNOLOGY DEMO
SAMPLE COLLECTION

Where is the Rover?

Image of a rover pin-point at Perseverance's location on Mars, Jezero Crater

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