Science and Technology - For Public

Aberystwyth University PanCam Emulator

Aberystwyth University PanCam Emulator
Aberystwyth University PanCam Emulator

Using commercial off-the-shelf cameras we have designed and built a panoramic camera instrument which emulates the proposed ExoMars PanCam. Our PanCam Emulator supports two Wide Angle Cameras (WACs) with a baseline separation of 500 mm, and a High Resolution Camera (HRC) with a variable focal length.

The two wide-angle cameras are fitted with filter wheels providing broadband visible red, green and blue filters for colour imaging, and also a range of narrowband filters with wavelengths extending into the infra-red for spectral analysis and geological assessment of targets.

The optical bench is constructed from laboratory optical rail, which is light and rigid but also very easy to adjust. The optical bench is mounted on a pan and tilt mechanism, which enables precise control of the camera pointing direction.

The PanCam Emulator can be used in conjunction with the AU experimental rover, with the rover's on-board computer controlling the functions of the PanCam. The PanCam Emulator can also be used standalone on a tripod or other suitable mounting, in conjunction with a portable control system which is housed in a small suitcase and powered by any convenient 12V DC source. In this configuration, the PanCam can easily be taken on field trips and expeditions (as was done for AMASE 2010).