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Published February 2021 | Published
Journal Article Open

SuperCam Instrument Suite on the NASA Mars 2020 Rover: Body Unit and Combined System Tests

Wiens, Roger C. ORCID icon
Maurice, Sylvestre
Robinson, Scott H.
Nelson, Anthony E.
Cais, Philippe
Bernardi, Pernelle
Newell, Raymond T.
Clegg, Sam ORCID icon
Sharma, Shiv K.
Storms, Steven
Deming, Jonathan
Beckman, Darrel
Ollila, Ann M.
Gasnault, Olivier ORCID icon
Anderson, Ryan B. ORCID icon
André, Yves
Michael Angel, S.
Arana, Gorka ORCID icon
Auden, Elizabeth
Beck, Pierre
Becker, Joseph
Benzerara, Karim
Bernard, Sylvain
Beyssac, Olivier
Borges, Louis
Bousquet, Bruno
Boyd, Kerry
Caffrey, Michael
Carlson, Jeffrey
Castro, Kepa
Celis, Jorden
Chide, Baptiste
Clark, Kevin
Cloutis, Edward ORCID icon
Cordoba, Elizabeth C.
Cousin, Agnes ORCID icon
Dale, Magdalena
DeFlores, Lauren
Delapp, Dorothea M. ORCID icon
Deleuze, Muriel
Dirmyer, Matthew
Donny, Christophe
Dromart, Gilles
Duran, M. George
Egan, Miles
Ervin, Joan
Fabre, Cécile ORCID icon
Fau, Amaury
Fischer, Woodward ORCID icon
Forni, Olivier ORCID icon
Fouchet, Thierry
Fresquez, Reuben
Frydenvang, Jens ORCID icon
Gasway, Denine
Gontijo, Ivair
Grotzinger, John ORCID icon
Jacob, Xavier
Jacquinod, Sophie
Johnson, Jeffrey R. ORCID icon
Klisiewicz, Roberta A.
Lake, James
Lanza, Nina
Laserna, Javier
Lasue, Jeremie
Le Mouélic, Stéphane
Legett, Carey
Leveille, Richard
Lewin, Eric
Lopez-Reyes, Guillermo
Lorenz, Ralph ORCID icon
Lorigny, Eric
Love, Steven P.
Lucero, Briana
Madariaga, Juan Manuel ORCID icon
Madsen, Morten Bo ORCID icon
Madsen, Soren
Mangold, Nicolas ORCID icon
Manrique, Jose Antonio
Martinez, J. P.
Martinez-Frias, Jesus
McCabe, Kevin P.
McConnochie, Timothy H.
McGlown, Justin M.
McLennan, Scott M. ORCID icon
Melikechi, Noureddine
Meslin, Pierre-Yves ORCID icon
Michel, John M.
Mimoun, David ORCID icon
Misra, Anupam
Montagnac, Gilles
Montmessin, Franck
Mousset, Valerie
Murdoch, Naomi
Newsom, Horton ORCID icon
Ott, Logan A.
Ousnamer, Zachary R.
Pares, Laurent
Parot, Yann
Pawluczyk, Rafal
Peterson, C. Glen
Pilleri, Paolo
Pinet, Patrick ORCID icon
Ponti, Gabriele ORCID icon
Poulet, Francois
Provost, Cheryl
Quertier, Benjamin
Quinn, Heather
Rapin, William ORCID icon
Reess, Jean-Michel
Regan, Amy H.
Reyes-Newell, Adriana L.
Romano, Philip J.
Royer, Clement
Rull, Fernando
Sandoval, Benigno
Sarrao, Joseph H.
Sautter, Violaine ORCID icon
Schoppers, Marcel J.
Schröder, Susanne ORCID icon
Seitz, Daniel
Shepherd, Terra
Sobron, Pablo
Dubois, Bruno
Sridhar, Vishnu
Toplis, Michael J.
Torre-Fdez, Imanol
Trettel, Ian A.
Underwood, Mark
Valdez, Andres
Valdez, Jacob
Venhaus, Dawn
Willis, Peter ORCID icon


The SuperCam instrument suite provides the Mars 2020 rover, Perseverance, with a number of versatile remote-sensing techniques that can be used at long distance as well as within the robotic-arm workspace. These include laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), remote time-resolved Raman and luminescence spectroscopies, and visible and infrared (VISIR; separately referred to as VIS and IR) reflectance spectroscopy. A remote micro-imager (RMI) provides high-resolution color context imaging, and a microphone can be used as a stand-alone tool for environmental studies or to determine physical properties of rocks and soils from shock waves of laser-produced plasmas. SuperCam is built in three parts: The mast unit (MU), consisting of the laser, telescope, RMI, IR spectrometer, and associated electronics, is described in a companion paper. The on-board calibration targets are described in another companion paper. Here we describe SuperCam's body unit (BU) and testing of the integrated instrument. The BU, mounted inside the rover body, receives light from the MU via a 5.8 m optical fiber. The light is split into three wavelength bands by a demultiplexer, and is routed via fiber bundles to three optical spectrometers, two of which (UV and violet; 245–340 and 385–465 nm) are crossed Czerny-Turner reflection spectrometers, nearly identical to their counterparts on ChemCam. The third is a high-efficiency transmission spectrometer containing an optical intensifier capable of gating exposures to 100 ns or longer, with variable delay times relative to the laser pulse. This spectrometer covers 535–853 nm (105-7070 cm⁻¹ Raman shift relative to the 532 nm green laser beam) with 12 cm⁻¹ full-width at half-maximum peak resolution in the Raman fingerprint region. The BU electronics boards interface with the rover and control the instrument, returning data to the rover. Thermal systems maintain a warm temperature during cruise to Mars to avoid contamination on the optics, and cool the detectors during operations on Mars. Results obtained with the integrated instrument demonstrate its capabilities for LIBS, for which a library of 332 standards was developed. Examples of Raman and VISIR spectroscopy are shown, demonstrating clear mineral identification with both techniques. Luminescence spectra demonstrate the utility of having both spectral and temporal dimensions. Finally, RMI and microphone tests on the rover demonstrate the capabilities of these subsystems as well.

Additional Information

© The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Received 16 May 2020; Accepted 27 November 2020; Published 21 December 2020. Data availability: Data presented in the Results section of this paper are being made available to the Planetary Data System Geosciences Node under Mars 2020/SuperCam. Code availability: Not applicable. Many people contributed to this project in addition to the co-authors, and we are most grateful for their support. This project was supported in the US by the NASA Mars Exploration Program, and in France by CNES, CNRS, and local universities. Support in Spain was provided by the Spanish Science Ministry. SuperCam benefitted from LANL laboratory-directed research and development funding which provided early prototypes of the new technologies incorporated in the SuperCam BU. J. Bell, A. Yingst, and K. Bennett are thanked for reviewing this manuscript; editorial support by K. Williford is also gratefully acknowledged. SDG. Was provided in the US by NASA's Mars Exploration Program. Funding in France was provided by CNES and CNRS. Funding in Spain was provided by the Spanish Science Ministry. Some funding of data analyses at LANL was provided by Laboratory-Directed Research and Development funds. Contributions: All authors contributed to either the proposal or the development and testing of the SuperCam instrument as described in this paper. The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest or competing interests. The Mars 2020 Mission: Edited by Kenneth A. Farley, Kenneth H. Williford and Kathryn M. Stack.

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