The Neptec Design Group (NDG; Kanata, Ontario, Canada) has signed a contract with Astrium UK (Stevenage, UK) to design and build navigation cameras for the ExoMars Rover.
The ExoMars programme has the goals of understanding the Martian environments and establishing whether life had or could now exist on Mars. The programme comprises two missions: an orbiter in 2016 and a rover mission in 2018.
The main challenge in the development of the cameras will be to design them to withstand the extreme environmental conditions that will be experienced on the surface of Mars.
The ExoMars programme is a European Space Agency robotic exploration mission led by prime contractor Thales Alenia Space Italia; Astrium UK will head up the development of the rover vehicle.
Contracts with European organizations represent an increasing portion of Neptec's space exploration business as the company expands beyond its core business with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
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-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design