Military Embedded Systems

Avionics and comms from L3Harris play role in NASA's imminent Perseverance Rover mission


February 17, 2021

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Illustration: The aeroshell containing NASA’s Perseverance rover guides itself towards the Martian surface. NASA/JPL-CalTech

MELBOURNE, Fla. Avionics and communications technologies from L3Harris Technologies are poised to enable critical links that will connect NASA's Perseverance Rover -- scheduled to land on Mars tomorrow, February 18, 2021 -- when it lands on the Red Planet and throughout its 10-year life expectancy.

Communications tools from L3Harris will transmit data to and from Perseverance by way of relay orbiters that then link with NASA controllers on Earth from up to 250 million miles away. The controllers will use the up and down links to send instructions and receive data, imagery, and other feedback from Perseverance: “The rover will capture and transmit an unprecedented volume and the highest-quality images of the Mars surface via L3Harris’ transceivers to the overhead orbiters,” said Sean Stackley, President, Integrated Mission Systems, L3Harris.

“This volume of transmission requires the significant bandwidth our transceivers provide, while adhering to stringent size, weight, and energy constraints. Perseverance will operate in an extremely harsh environment for more than a decade, requiring our most hardened, durable, and proven solutions. This is another great example of L3Harris driving innovation fast forward.”

The state-of-the-art Perseverance rover launched July 30, 2020 on United Launch Alliance’s two-stage Atlas V-541 launch vehicle; it is expected to land on Mars on Thursday, February 18, 2021 at approximately 3:55 p.m. EST, and will be covered live on NASA TV

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