ExoMars Raman laser spectrometer for Exomars
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XIV
The Raman Laser Spectrometer (RLS) is one of the Pasteur Payload instruments within the ESA's ExoMars mission. The RLS instrument scientific goal consists of perform in-situ Raman spectroscopy over different organic and mineral powder samples of the Mars subsoil. It consists of three main units: SPU (Spectrometer Unit), iOH (Internal Optical Head), ICEU (Instrument Control and Excitation Unit) which are interconnected by an optical and electrical harnesses (OH and EH). The SPU is one of the
... U is one of the most critical units of the RLS instrument. The Engineering Qualification Model (EQM) unit has been already delivered after a proper qualified campaign in a very demanding environment with very restrictive design constraints, including Planetary Protection requirements. Also, a complete set of functional tests had been carried out under representative environment, simulating not only Mars rover´s laboratory conditions (thermal range and pressure), but also the cruise phase. Previously, an exhaustive qualification campaign was developed with two different purposes: to mitigate the risks associated to new optical elements included in the design and without space heritage; and to obtain a detailed comprehension of their behaviour under Mars conditions for facing the Flight Model (FM) optical design with guarantee of success. EQM results were successful in terms of Engineering, and a SWaP-optimized system had been reached. The acquired knowledge of that model has been used to implement little improvements into SPU FM for acceptance. For operations, a big amelioration has been the reduction of the image ROI on the Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) after the improving of the alignment of the inclination degree of the image plane on CCD under the tightly integration constrains, letting to download the minimum necessary data bytes. These improvements achieved by a proper analysis of the image on the SPU CCD will allow to evaluate far better the Raman spectrum effects. SPU FM Mechanical, Thermal-Vacuum campaign has been already finished in order to accept for flight the current unit which will be already completed and "flight qualified" at RLS system level before the congress. If everything continues on this way, the desired Technology Readiness level, TRL 8 maturity level, will be reported during the following text.