By Nick Gilbert
DUNMORE has announced that its high-performance thin films have been used on the Mars rover, Curiosity, in order to protect the sensitive wiring from the electromagnetic interference, harsh temperature swings and radiation existing in the Martian environment. This rover commenced its journey across the Mars' surface to look for indications of sustained microbial life.
On Sunday evening, the Curiosity rover, which is part of the Mars Science Laboratory campaign, landed on Mars after journeying from the Cape Canaveral Air Station located in Florida, for 8.5 months. This compact-car-sized vehicle is larger when compared to previous rovers. The rover was lowered on the planet’s surface with the help of a sky crane that was mounted on a delivery vehicle, which drifted over the landing location on retro rockets.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA specifically utilized DUNMORE’s special reinforced tape, which was developed to insulate all the wirings within the Mars rover. This insulating tape guarantees that the electrical currents from various systems of the rover will not impede with each other and obstruct the operation of the rover. The company combined 3M fiberglass reinforcement and adhesive layer and DuPont’s Kapton polyimide film to develop the insulating tape, which is the only multi-layer insulation (MLI) product utilized in the Mars Rover.
Insulation blankets and tapes from DUNMORE have been utilized in most of the space campaign over the last 20 years, including Hubble Telescope, NASA's Aquarius and Juno exploratory probes, International Space Station and the Space Shuttle program. As the demand from the private and public organizations continues to increase in launching satellites to orbit, the company anticipates a constant growth in space programs like providing MLI to the GPS III program that will include at least 30 new satellites.