Radiometric Calibration Targets for the Mastcam-Z Camera on the Mars 2020 Rover Mission

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review


  • J. F. Bell
  • J. N. Maki
  • Z. J. Bailey
  • A. G. Hayes
  • O. B. Jensen
  • M. Merusi
  • M. H. Bernt
  • M. Hilverda
  • E. Cloutis
  • D. Applin
  • E. Mateo-Marti
  • J. A. Manrique
  • G. Lopez-Reyes
  • A. Bello-Arufe
  • B. L. Ehlmann
  • J. Buz
  • A. Pommerol
  • N. Thomas
  • L. Affolter
  • K. E. Herkenhoff
  • J. R. Johnson
  • M. Rice
  • P. Corlies
  • C. Tate
  • M. A. Caplinger
  • E. Jensen
  • T. Kubacki
  • E. Cisneros
  • K. Paris
  • A. Winhold

The Mastcam-Z Camera is a stereoscopic, multispectral camera with zoom capability on NASA's Mars-2020 Perseverance rover. The Mastcam-Z relies on a set of two deck-mounted radiometric calibration targets to validate camera performance and to provide an instantaneous estimate of local irradiance and allow conversion of image data to units of reflectance (R* or I/F) on a tactical timescale. Here, we describe the heritage, design, and optical characterization of these targets and discuss their use during rover operations. The Mastcam-Z primary calibration target inherits features of camera calibration targets on the Mars Exploration Rovers, Phoenix and Mars Science Laboratory missions. This target will be regularly imaged during flight to accompany multispectral observations of the martian surface. The primary target consists of a gold-plated aluminum base, eight strong hollow-cylinder Sm2Co17 alloy permanent magnets mounted in the base, eight ceramic color and grayscale patches mounted over the magnets, four concentric, ceramic grayscale rings and a central aluminum shadow post (gnomon) painted with an IR-black paint. The magnets are expected to keep the central area of each patch relatively free of Martian aeolian dust. The Mastcam-Z secondary calibration target is a simple angled aluminum shelf carrying seven vertically mounted ceramic color and grayscale chips and seven identical, but horizontally mounted ceramic chips. The secondary target is intended to augment and validate the calibration-related information derived from the primary target. The Mastcam-Z radiometric calibration targets are critically important to achieving Mastcam-Z science objectives for spectroscopy and photometric properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number141
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number8
Number of pages51
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Correction to, vol.217,3,46
DOI: 10.1007/s11214-021-00828-5

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