Monday, March 14, 2016

Kinemetrics MEMS Technology for NASA's InSight Mission to Mars

Kinemetrics is pleased to announce our technology contribution to the delivery of a micro-machined silicon seismometer for NASA's InSight mission to Mars. Although the mission itself has been delayed by an unrelated problem in a separate instrument, the microseismometer known as SP was successfully built, tested and delivered last year with a performance exceeding mission requirements. 
The new launch date for the mission is for a window beginning on May 5th 2018. The micro-machined sensors built at Imperial College London are based on a joint Kinemetrics/Imperial development program and have set a record for the lowest noise floor of any MEMS sensor at 0.3 ng/√Hz. To achieve such performance the sensors are coupled with electronics designed by Kinemetrics and built at Oxford University. 

The sensors can operate over a tilt range of 15 degrees on Mars, equivalent to 6 degrees on Earth with no compromise in performance. Their robustness to the harsh environment expected on the InSight mission was demonstrated during vibration testing to 28 grms, and shock testing exceeding 200g. Beyond InSight and Mars these microseismometers are now prime candidates for proposed missions to Europa, Jupiter's icy moon as well as our own Moon. 
Learn more about NASA's InSight mission to Mars here

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