12 July 2008 The proximity electronics of the optical system for the Medusa experiment
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MEDUSA (Martian Environmental DUst Systematic Analyzer) is one of the experiments selected for the ExoMars mission, planned by the European Space Agency (ESA), with the scientific objective to study water and dust on Mars, in relation to the search of signs of life forms. To achieve this goal, the MEDUSA experiment is based on an optical system and two micro-balances, integrated together with a dust deposition and electrification sensor. This paper focuses on the Proximity Electronics (PE) envisaged for the Optical System and reports the results obtained during the development activities carried out in the breadboard implementation of the instrument. A photodiode amplifier with very high gain (107) and large output dynamics was developed. The compensation of the offset due to stray light and electronic bias has been implemented via an adaptive control. The environmental constraints imposed by the space mission to Mars have been taken into account during the design, not only for the qualified components selection, but also for the minimization of the overall mass and power consumption.
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C. Molfese, P. Palumbo, V. Della Corte, F. Esposito, L. Colangeli, "The proximity electronics of the optical system for the Medusa experiment", Proc. SPIE 7010, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter, 70104M (12 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.786658; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.786658



Optical amplifiers

Interference (communication)


Stray light


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