ROCHESTER, N.Y., May 12, 2021—To better understand the composition and past habitability of the “Red Planet,” the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched the latest spacecraft in its Mars exploration program—the Perseverance Rover—which successfully landed in February 2021. When designing the spacecraft, NASA relied on countless state-of-the-art technologies from various sources, including Exxelia Ohmcraft—a leader in thick-film, high-voltage, high-precision resistor design and manufacturing.
Ohmcraft worked closely with two key NASA subcontractors who led the development of the spacecraft. Ohmcraft designed a total of seven custom, high-voltage resistors for the Perseverance Rover. These leaded resistors were utilized in the spacecraft’s SuperCam and Planetary Instrument for X-Ray Lithochemistry (PIXL), which detect the presence of organic compounds in the planet’s rocks and regolith, and help further explore the overall chemical composition on Mars.
To withstand the extreme conditions in space, Ohmcraft performed extensive testing on the resistors to meet NASA’s stringent requirements.
“As with any spacecraft application, reliability is absolutely critical. The finished product is literally sent out of this world, so you must get the design right the first time around,” said Eric Van Wormer, Vice President of Exxelia Ohmcraft. “Since Perseverance landed, it’s been exciting to see real-time photos and data from Mars and know that our innovative solutions helped make that happen.”
Exxelia Ohmcraft has been on Mars before. In 2004, Ohmcraft’s custom leaded resistors were used in the Spirit and Opportunity rover expeditions, as well as in the Curiosity expedition in 2012.
Exxelia Ohmcraft’s technology utilizes the proprietary Micropen electronic printing system to “print” precise, narrow, serpentine lines with resistive ink on a ceramic substrate, producing higher performance resistors over a wider range of values on a smaller surface area than is possible with conventional film resistor technology.
About Exxelia Ohmcraft
Exxelia Ohmcraft’s thick-film, surface mount resistors are engineered to meet application-specific needs. Our proprietary Micropen printing technology is the foundation for Exxelia Ohmcraft’s family of resistor products. Exxelia Ohmcraft’s precision leaded resistors are manufactured with our patented Micropen technology to create a unique serpentine design that withstands voltages up to 100kV and provides an unmatched level of performance and stability. For more information, visit Ohmcraft.com.
Exxelia is a leading global designer and manufacturer of high-performance passive components and subsystems. Exxelia’s wide products portfolio includes film, tantalum, ceramic and electrolytic capacitors, inductors, transformers, microwave components, position sensors, slip rings and high-precision mechanical parts. Recognized worldwide for its advanced design and technical expertise, Exxelia develops both “catalog” and “custom” products exclusively serving high-reliability markets such as aerospace, defense, medical, transportation, telecommunication infrastructure and advance industrial applications. Additional information can be found at https://exxelia.com.