Miniature Linear Stage on Mars Rover Helps Provide Precision Focus Control for SuperCam

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The tiny PI micropositioning stage on the Perseverance rover plays an important role in NASA’s mission to detect traces of former life on the RED planet. June 2021, Auburn, MA – Precision motion control and nano-positioning industry leader, PI, plays a key role in distance targeting of geological samples for testing by the Mars rover, Perseverance. Exacting control of the optical focus is required by the space-qualified variant of the PI miCos MT Series stepper-motor stage as it axially translates the secondary mirror of the telescope which collects the optical return from the sample while providing imaging information to place the sample within geologic context. This is the second time PI precision motion equipment has traveled the long distance to our neighboring planet. The rover, Curiosity, has relied on PI’s patented PICMA® piezoelectric transducers and an another motorized focusing stage since first landing in 2012.

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