Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mast Camera (Mastcam) Pre-Launch Images

 

In mid-March 2010, just prior to delivering the fixed focal lenth (FFL) Mastcameras to JPL, we collected a small number of images from the "Canyon View Clean Room" on the second floor of our new facility, from which can see out to a kilometer or more.  Such images are important in demonstrating the performance of the focus and autofocus capabilities of the cameras. They also provide images that look more interesting than those commonly collected in our techncial testing (some of which are also included in this discussion). In the group of pictures below, images from both the medium angle field of view (34 mm focal length, called M-34) and the narrow angle (telephoto, 100 mm focal lenth, M-100) cameras are shown.

 

MSL 34mm Mastcam pre-launch image from the MSSS Canyon View Clean Room.

M-34 Bayer Color view from the MSSS Canyon View Clean room showing the view across the canyon behind our facility towards homes about 1 km away. Image was color balanced using a "quick-and-dirty" process in Adobe PhotoshopTM.

 

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

 

MSL 100mm Mastcam pre-launch image from the MSSS Canyon View Clean Room

M-100 Bayer Color view from the MSSS Canyon View Clean room showing the view across the canyon behind our facility towards homes about 1 km away. Image was color balanced using a "quick-and-dirty" process in Adobe PhotoshopTM.

 

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

MSL 100mm Mastcam pre-launch image of a Macbeth color chart.

M-100 Bayer Color view of bushes across the MSSS parking lot, along with a MacbethTM color chart. Image was color balanced using a "quick-and-dirty" process in Adobe PhotoshopTM.

 

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

 

MSL 34mm Mastcam pre-launch image through the IR filter, demonstrating how vegetation looks bright in near-IR wavelengths.

M-34 view through one of the near-infrared science filters (Band 6, 1035 microns), illustrating how vegetation looks bright in the near-IR.

 

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

MSL 100mm Mastcam movie clip.

We also took a "video" with the M-100 camera. The camera is able to acquire "motion JPEG" compressed video (something like Quicktime). The quality of our initial attempt at a movie is pretty bad (JPEG Quality 50), and in motion shows lots of compression frame to compression frame variance. However, this first test video does illustrate the general capability. In this video, look for joggers and motion of the trees in the far field to see that it is really changing. This file in original raw format (15 frame Group of Pictures (GOPs)) was about 40 MBytes, which is about a days worth of downlink from MSL (if it were all allocated to bringing down a movie). Better quality will take longer, and bringing down video would not normally get a large allocation of downlink, so it might take a week or longer to get only a minute's worth of video back to Earth.

Quarter-size MPEG4, 7.3 MB

Quarter-size Quicktime (Motion JPEG), 28.5 MB

Full-resolution 720p HD Quicktime (Motion JPEG), 1280x720), 111 MB

 

We also took images of some rocks in our cleanroom at closer range (about 2 meters), to assess the image performance and quality on irregularly shaped and textured natural geologic materials. Although most of the rocks viewed here are not the same as those examined during MAHLI calibration, the center rock (a rounded, vesiculated basaltic cobble with plagioclase phenocrysts from Iceland, front row center), was also imaged by MAHLI. Other rocks in this image include a polished cube of the Antarctic Vida Granet (front row: pink rock at far right), a piece of Antarctic Beacon Sandstone with silica overgrowth (light toned layered rock near front-row center) and a piece of Antarctic petrified wood found in the Jurassic Mawson Formation, but derived from the Triassic Lashly Formation, banded rock, back row second from left).

 

MSL 34mm Mastcam Bayer Color image of rocks in the MSSS clean room.

M-34 Bayer Color image of rocks in the MSSS clean room.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

MSL 100mm Mastcam Bayer Color image of rocks in the MSSS clean room.

Mosaic of two M-100 Bayer Color image of rocks in the MSSS clean room.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

MSL Mastcam stereo anaglyph of rocks in the MSSS clean room.

Stereo anaglyph of rocks in the MSSS clean room. In this anaglyph, the M-100 is in the left eye and the M-34 is in the right eye. In reality, the M-100 is in the right eye of the rover and the M-34 is in the left eye.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

 

 

Images taken during Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations (ATLO) testing after the delivery of the Mastcams to JPL:

 

MSL 34mm Mastcam image of Dr. Michael C. Malin, principal investigator of the Mastcam, at JPL from 2 m distance.

Mastcam principal investigator Michael Malin imaged at JPL by the M-34 at a distance of 2 m.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

View of JPL ATLO high bay in the spacecraft assembly facility taken by the 34mm MSL Mastcam.

View of the JPL ATLO High Bay in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility taken by the M-34.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

View of JPL ATLO high bay in the spacecraft assembly facility taken by the 100mm MSL Mastcam.

View of the JPL ATLO High Bay in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility taken by the M-100.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

 

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