Customised force sensors deployed on the Mars Rover CuriosityThe USA based premier force sensor manufacturer, Strainsert Company, recently announced that it has supplied over forty customised sensors that have been deployed across NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission which recently and successfully landed its Mars Rover Curiosity mobile laboratory in the Gale Crater area on the Red Planet.
Represented exclusively in the UK by non contact sensor, transducer and measurement experts, Ixthus Instrumentation, Strainsert designed and manufactured mission critical sensors for various functions including the major spacecraft separations (cruise stage, heat shield, descent stage, ballast masts and rover), as well as the retention of the mobility (wheels), high gain antenna, camera mast, robotic arm and mechanisms retaining two spare drill bits.
Strainsert's standard and customised load cells, load pins and force sensors are used for many other demanding applications in research, testing, weighing and control in the aerospace, military, marine and automotive industries. The Company has worked closely with NASA over several decades for major space programs and has developed patented transducer designs for many other challenging application areas that are made possible by an innovative internal strain gauging process where foil strain gauges are actually bonded and sealed inside small bore holes, as part of complete load bearing components.
Ixthus Instrumentation works closely with Strainsert, providing cost-effective solutions for tough load measurement applications where this internal or 'down-hole' strain gauging technique offers considerable protection benefits for high accuracy force measurement from 100 N to 5 MN.
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