LTC Devices Power Mars Exploration Rovers

March 01, 2004 by Jeff Shepard

Linear Technology Corp. (LTC, Milpitas, CA), a manufacturer of high-performance, linear, integrated circuits announced that its products are playing a key role in the Mars Exploration rovers launched by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Linear Technology's analog semiconductors are used in the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers to enable collection of a vast amount of data, including detailed visual images of the Martian landscape and precise readings that will assist program scientists in understanding the geology and history of Mars.

The Linear Technology devices were selected for the Mars Exploration program based on their high reliability, high performance and their ability to survive the harsh environment in flight and on the Martian surface. Linear Technology products are used in the Mars rovers and in the spacecraft that delivered them to Mars. These include power switching regulators to deliver power to the rover instruments, analog-to-digital converters for camera motion control to allow the rovers to view the Martian landscape and digitize the images for the long journey back to earth, and operational amplifiers to amplify signals to precise levels for accurate delivery of scientific data on the composition of the red planet.