The flight model of the colour camera CLUPI was delivered on July 11, 2019 to ESA at Airbus facilities in Stevenage, United Kingdom, for integration on the rover of the ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars 2020 mission.
CLUPI is the high-performance color close-up imager on board the next ESA mission to the Mars surface. It is the equivalent of the hand-lens used by geologist during field work and thus it will play an important role to achieve the mission objectives.
The camera features a 14 megapixel color image sensor, a resolution of 8 µm/pixel in color at 11.5 cm, a working distance between 11.5 cm and infinity and the ability to withstand the low Martian temperatures down to -125°C.
The CLUPI project is led by Jean-Luc Josset (Principal Investigator, PI) and the Space Exploration Institute in Neuchâtel/Switzerland. The instrument is built by Thales Alenia Space in Zurich/Switzerland and a network of industrial contractors. The optical characterization of the fully assembled flight model, the performance testing and the final sterilization took place at ESA/ESTEC between June 26 and July 6, 2019.
It is worth noting that, after this delivery, all the scientific ExoMars 2020 instruments with French hardware contribution are delivered.
The CLUPI project in Orléans
Frances Westall of the Center for Molecular Biophysics (CBM, UPR4301 of CNRS) in Orléans, is one of the two Co-PI of the CLUPI project. In the frame of the Earth Science and Astronomy Observatory in the Centre-Val de Loire region, the LPC2E provides the necessary management and technical support. The LPC2E is especially responsible for encapsulating and testing the image sensor of the CLUPI camera. LPC2E has delegated the encapsulation properly speaking to Teledyne-e2v, in Chelmsford/United Kingdom. The contribution of CNRS Orléans to CLUPI is financially and technically supported by CNES.
For more information
ExoMars–CLUPI on the Space Exploration Institute website
The ExoMars 2020 rover instrument suite and CLUPI on the ESA website
The ExoMars 2020 mission on the ESA website