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On July 30, 2020, a space mission was launched at Cape Canaveral in Florida sending the rover named Perseverance to Mars, and Mirion was there to assist! The launch completed a year-long project supported by Tim Royals and Eric Despault from the DMD Services team. The rover is scheduled to land on Mars on February 18, 2021. As part of the exploration of Mars, the Perseverance rover will collect soil and rock samples to potentially return to Earth, along with searching for any forms of life.
The ECAM monitor is designed to provide radiological assessments of potential environmental hazards to personnel and members of the public in the event of the release of alpha-emitting radionuclides. ECAM technology allows real-time field monitoring of concentration, DAC-hr and other parameters for determining potential exposure and improving protection for people and the environment. The unit is encapsulated in a durable, weatherproof assembly engineered to survive in various environmental conditions.
The rover uses an RTG power source, which is essentially a nuclear battery. In case of a mishap on launch which could cause the RTG material to spread, Mirion’s equipment was used to monitor the launch site and the wider area. The closest ECAM monitor was about a quarter mile from the launch site while the furthest was 40 miles away. All were being monitored in one central location throughout the launch.
The DMD Service and Operation teams were instrumental in providing expert supply chain management to get replacement parts for the ECAMs, technical support, shipping, contract execution and onsite support. The launch was a success and Mirion played a critical role in the safe execution of this mission.