How Powerful is the MastCam-Z?

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Steady flow of raw images have been coming in a daily basis. Those batch of images were not possible if not for the “eyes” we have on Mars. Mars Perseverance Rover has over 20 cameras, the coolest of them all is the MastCam-Z. Let’s pause for a while on the streams of raw images and let’s step back a bit and appreciate the details of this amazing instrument.

MastCam-Z stands for Mast-mounted Camera system that is equipped with a Zoom function on the Perseverance rover. Its main function is To take high-definition video, panoramic color and 3D images of the Martian surface and features in the atmosphere with a zoom lens to magnify distant targets

As the main “eyes” of Perseverance Rover. This piece of instrument will prove itself once more on value it brings with Curiosity Rover and now on Perseverance. Just like the human eye, it has it’s own level of acuity and precision in bringing those images come to life. Shown left is the The twin Mastcam-Z cameras, with a pocket knife for scale.

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Characterizing the terrain

Example of reconstructed and geologically interpreted 3-D stereo measurements using MSL Curiosity rover Mastcam images of the Whale Rock target at the Pahrump Hills outcrop in Gale crater. Stereo data sets like this enable the assessment of quantitative sedimentological parameters like strikes, dips, and bedding plane orientation and thicknesses that can directly inform specific past geologic origins and environments. The reconstruction here was generated using the same data visualization and analysis tools to be used for geologic interpretations of Mastcam-Z stereo image products (“PRo3D”; Barnes et al. 2018). Mastcam-Z can obtain stereo data at up to 4 times higher spatial resolution than MSL/Mastcam.

Aside from taking great panoramas, the main role of interpreting the layers the of rock and it’s component is a challenge and imagine doing it at a distant. Such imaging prowess is so amazing that when reconstructed the mineral component can be identified and readily distinguishable. Here’s The Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Mast Camera Zoom (Mastcam-Z) Multispectral, Stereoscopic Imaging Investigation. Click on link for the comprehensive research.

See video below for the another way to enjoy the details of this Science instrument on Mars Perseverance Rover which is currently in action on Mars. Enjoy!

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