Homogeneity assessment of the SuperCam calibration targets onboard rover perseverance
Gómez Nubla, Leticia
Fernández Ortiz de Vallejuelo, Silvia
Manrique, José Antonio
Wiens, Roger C.
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Analytica chimica acta 1209 : (2022) // Article ID 339837
The SuperCam instrument, onboard the Perseverance rover (Mars 2020 mission) is designed to perform remote analysis on the Martian surface employing several spectroscopic techniques such as Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), Time-Resolved Raman (TRR), Time-Resolved Fluorescence (TRF) and Visible and Infrared (VISIR) reflectance. In addition, SuperCam also acquires high-resolution images using a color remote micro-imager (RMI) as well as sounds with its microphone. SuperCam has three main subsystems, the Mast Unit (MU) where the laser for chemical analysis and collection optics are housed, the Body Unit (BU) where the different spectrometers are located inside the rover, and the SuperCam Calibration Target (SCCT) located on the rover's deck to facilitate calibration tests at similar ambient conditions as the analyzed samples. To perform adequate calibrations on Mars, the 22 mineral samples included in the complex SCCT assembly must have a very homogeneous distribution of major and minor elements. The analysis and verification of such homogeneity for the 5-6 replicates of the samples included in the SCCT has been the aim of this work. To verify the physic-chemical homogeneity of the calibration targets, micro Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) imaging was first used on the whole surface of the targets, then the relative abundances of the detected elements were computed on 20 randomly distributed areas of 100*100 mum. For those targets showing a positive Raman response, micro-Raman spectroscopy imaging was performed on the whole surface of the targets at a resolution of 100*100 mum. The %RSD values (percent of relative standard deviation of mean values) for the major elements measured with EDXRF were compared with similar values obtained by two independent LIBS set-ups at spot sizes of 300 mum in diameter. The statistical analysis showed which elements were homogeneously distributed in the 22 mineral targets of the SCCT, providing their uncertainty values for further calibration. Moreover, nine of the 22 targets showed a good Raman response and their mineral distributions were also studied. Those targets can be also used for calibration purposes of the Raman part of SuperCam using the wavenumbers of their main Raman bands proposed in this work.