ExoMars - CLUPI


ExoMars is an approved Mars exploration programme of the European Space Agency (ESA) involving a broad cooperation with NASA. The programme is composed of two missions:

A first launch will take place in 2016, with three goals: deploy an orbiter module that will analyse trace gases of the Martian atmosphere; demonstrate ESA’s capability to deliver a payload to the surface with an Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) module; and provide with the orbiter a communication relay between Mars and the Earth, in particular for the ExoMars rover.

In a second step, the ESA ExoMars Rover will be launched together with the NASA Max-C Rover. Using a NASA « Skycrane » descent module, the rovers will be delivered to the surface at the same time in early 2019.
Along with technological demonstration goals (surface mobility with a rover, access to sub-surface samples, sample preparation and distribution for analysis by scientific instruments), the programme has the following scientific aims:

  • to search for signs of past and/or present life on Mars;
  • to investigate the water/geochemical environment as a function of depth in the shallow subsurface;
  • to investigate Martian atmospheric trace gases and their sources.

Research in geology and exobiology will be conducted using the scientific payload of the ExoMars rover. The Pasteur payload consists of 9 instruments. CLUPI and PanCam are two of them.

CLUPI - CLose-UP Imager

The small smart camera will acquire color close-up images of rocks and surface materials as well as for the first time images of core drill sample from 2m depth. It will be implemented on the drill of the rover, allowing a certain freedom of movement to the camera. Different observation configuration will thus be exploited.


Science Objectives

CLUPI will play the role of the hand-lense of the geologist. The following goals have been defined by CLUPI science team :

  • To contribute to the characterization of the geological environment and to help to determine the details of the history and processes recorded in geologic material at micrometer to centimeter scale in Rover's area of activity.
  • To determine the types of rocks present in the immediate surroundings of the ExoMars Rover on the basis of texture and to search for indications of the former presence of water (e.g. in the form of sediment textures such as in Meridian Planum or as fracture infills). Contribute to the selection of sites for detailed investigation (drilling).
  • Potential to recognize morphological biosignature (biofabrics) such as stromatolites and mineralized filamentous textures using CLUPI, leading up to more detailed investigations using the other instruments.
Science Team

Instrument Specification
Complete High-Tech integrated imaging system:

APS 2'652 x 1'768 pixels , 8 or 12 bits, possible binning of 4x4

Rock area 42x28mm at min at 20cm working distance (cored sample on drawer)

Resolution: 15μm/pixel in color at 20cm WD (cored sample on drawer)

Automatic focus system with z-stacking

Internal Data processing / SpW output