Aug 10, 2012Science and Technology
Chip for mars rover

The partnership between the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a team at the University of Tennessee is what led the recent NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Rover “Curiosity” complete its mission. The team designed a tiny microchip, as light as small as a paperclip, to help control the motors on the rover. The analog microchip is unique in that it can potentially withstand 500 days of radiation exposure and temperature ranging from -180 degrees Celsius to 120 degrees Celsius. It has undergone rigorous testing, such as operating in thermal ovens, to ensure it can withstand the elements. Researchers not only developed the chip to meet the Martian surface environment requirements, but designed it in a way that allows it to operate in environments even colder than minus 120 degrees Celsius to help enable reuse of the microchip for other extreme environment robotic missions in the future.

Relevant Locations: Knoxville, TN, USA
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