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PRESS RELEASE: Teledyne DALSA-manufactured Sensors to Guide NASA Rover on Current Mission to Mars

WATERLOO, Ontario - December 12, 2011 - Teledyne DALSA is pleased to announce the NASA-designed, Teledyne DALSA-manufactured CCD sensors are once again being used on a NASA mission to Mars. Successfully launched on Saturday, November 26, 2011, the sensors are embedded in the Engineering Cameras of the Curiosity Rover. The Engineering Cameras, known as the Navcam and Hazcam cameras, are located on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover and are used for navigation on the surface of Mars. The Rover will use 4 Navcam cameras and 8 Hazcam cameras. 

Navcams (Navigation Cameras)
Mounted on a pan/tilt mast 2 meters above the ground, these black-and-white cameras will use visible light to gather panoramic, three-dimensional imagery. The navigation camera unit is a stereo pair of cameras, each with a 45-degree field of view that will support ground navigation planning by scientists and engineers. They will work in cooperation with the hazard avoidance cameras by providing a complementary view of the terrain.

Hazcams (Hazard Avoidance Cameras)
Mounted on the lower portion of the front and rear of the rover, these black-and-white cameras will use visible light to capture three-dimensional imagery. This imagery safeguards against the rover getting lost or inadvertently crashing into unexpected obstacles, and works in tandem with software that allows the rover to make its own safety choices and to "think on its own." 

The cameras each have a wide field of view of about 120 degrees. The rover uses pairs of Hazcam images to map out the shape of the terrain as far as 3 meters (10 feet) in front of it, in a "wedge" shape that is over 4 meters wide (13 feet) at the farthest distance. The cameras need to see far on either side because unlike human eyes, the Hazcam cameras cannot move independently; they are mounted directly on the rover body. 

Teledyne DALSA's award winning semiconductor wafer foundry has supported NASA's missions to Mars since 1997. The CCD sensors in the MSL Rovers' Engineering Cameras are custom devices, designed by NASA and manufactured by Teledyne DALSA. These sensors have endured the test of time and, with minor adjustments, have performed beyond their requirements during previous missions. 

"With this type of mission, failure is not an option," said Donald Robert, VP of Sales at Teledyne DALSA's Foundry Business. "As with all our products, we strive to manufacture sensors that meet and exceed the needs of our clients, especially in harsh environments." 

Media Note: For interview requests, please email [email protected]. For high resolution images of Teledyne DALSA products, please visit our online media kit .

About Teledyne DALSA Semiconductor
Located in Bromont, Quebec, Canada, Teledyne DALSA's award winning semiconductor wafer foundry has a proud history of innovation in specialties such as MEMS, CCDs, and high voltage CMOS. As a pure-play foundry, our goal is to deliver innovative foundry capabilities as a manufacturing partner to fabless and fab-lite semiconductor companies to help them succeed with their advanced MEMS or IC designs. Visit www.teledynedalsa.com/semi for more information.

About Teledyne DALSA, Inc.
Teledyne DALSA, a Teledyne Technologies company, is an international leader in high performance digital imaging and semiconductors with approximately 1,000 employees worldwide, headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Established in 1980, the company designs, develops, manufactures and markets digital imaging products and solutions, in addition to providing MEMS products and services. For more information, visit Teledyne DALSA's website at www.teledynedalsa.com.


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Teledyne DALSA reserves the right to make changes at any time without notice.


Media Contact:
Heather Neale
Media Relations Specialist
Teledyne DALSA
Tel: +1-514-333-1301 ext. 227
email: [email protected]

Sales Contact:
Donald Robert
VP Sales Foundry Business
Teledyne DALSA
Tel: +1-450-534-2321 ext. 1445
email: [email protected]

Published 2011-12-12