The Finnish Meteorological Institute is among the scientific partners provided measurement equipment for the new Perseverance rover, launched on July 30 and to land on Mars in February 2021. The pressure and humidity measurement devices developed by the FMI are based on Vaisala’s world known sensor technology and are similar but more advanced to the ones sent to Mars on the first Curiosity rover in 2012.
A Spanish-led European consortium provides the rover with Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA); a set of sensors that provides measurements of temperature, wind speed and direction, pressure, relative humidity, and the amount and size of dust particles. FMI’s pressure and humidity sensors are part MEDA.
“Mars, as well as Venus, the other sister planet of Earth, is a particularly important area of atmospheric investigations due to its similarities to Earth. Studying Mars helps us also better understand the behavior of Earth’s atmosphere”, comments Maria Genzer, Head of Planetary Research and Space Technology group at FMI.
The new mission equipment complements the Curiosity rover. While working on Mars, the Curiosity and Perseverance rovers will form a small-scale observation network. The network is only the first step, anticipating the extensive observation network planned on Mars in the future.
More information: Maria Genzer, Head of Planetary research and space technology group, Maria.Genzer@fmi.fi