The ChemCam (chemistry and camera instrument) laser module on board of Mars rover ‘Curiosity’ − which successfully landed on Mars on 6th August 2012 − contains 630 tantalum multianode capacitors from AVX Corporation, a leading manufacturer of advanced passive components and interconnect solutions. The laser module is used to analyse chemical elements of rocks on Mars.
The design of the laser power source for the ChemCam had to meet extreme requirements and yet deliver high power performance in a small size and very light-weight package. So, AVX’s designed a large bank of 630 tantalum multianode capacitors (470µF 10V), providing very low ESR, to be used in this application. The capacitors were produced in the ESA (European Space Agency)-approved manufacturing facility from AVX in Lanskroun, Czech Republic and then re-tested to MIL standards by AVX in Biddeford, Maine, the US.