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OPCO Laboratory News Release

Photonics Buyers' Guide
Our congratulations to NASA Mars Science Laboratory, for their extraordinary effort in designing, launching, and landing the Rover Curiosity on Mars

OPCO Laboratory, proudly announces it’s participation in the Mars Rover Curiosity program, that landed on Mars on August 5, 2012. OPCO provided several diffraction gratings, that are integrated into the Spectrometers in the Chem Cam Instrument Package, mounted on the Curiosity Rover Vehicle. One of Chem Cam’s experiments, will be remote laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). A laser, also mounted on the rover, will fire a series of pulsed beams at Martian rocks and soil, ablating surface dust. Once the dust is removed, the pulsed laser is fired again at the exposed rock surface. The laser excites the electrons within the atoms of the rock, and emits a light. The light is received by a telescope within the Chem Cam housing, and enters the spectrometer through an optical fiber, where it is separated by the grating into the various wavelengths, and read by the onboard computer. This is the first instrument deployed, that provides a detailed spectral analysis and identification of the lunar materials, that are several meters away from the rover, within a few minutes of operation.

For more information about the Mars Rover Curiosity Chem Cam Program, visit

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OPCO Laboratory Inc.
OPCO specializes in Precision Fabrication of Lenses, Prisms, Beamsplitters, High Reflection Mirrors, Windows, Domes, Filters and Flow Cells. Optimize product performance with affordable custom precision optical components designed to meet your...
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