Motiv Space Systems is proposing the development of a Cryogenic Focus Mechanism (CFM) for planetary cameras operating in
extreme cold environments. The focus mechanism is intended to augment typical fixed focus cameras or spectrometers which are
commonly integrated into NASA rovers and landers. The provision of a variable focus mechanism will enable greater contextual
imagery for future Navcams, Hazcams, robotic workspace cameras, sample inspection instruments, and any other applications
addressed by the current fixed focus imagers. The intent is to package an actuated focus mechanism within typical volume constraints
of fixed focus lens assemblies to promote seamless adoption and integration. The mechanism will be designed to operate at
temperatures of -180C which will mean it will not need additional thermal resources. A mechanism design will be completed utilizing
Mars heritage practices and validated by a feasibility Code V analysis of the opto-mechanical lens arrangements.
Typical applications of the CFM would be in support of future Mars Rover exploration programs or lander missions to destinations such as Titan or Europa. The CFM enhances the capabilities of context cameras required to take panoramic images, survey the robotic work space, or evaluate collected samples during science operations. Satellite servicing technology demonstration missions can also utilize a focus mechanism to augment operations for performing inspection and repair on government satellites.
The advent of the satellite servicing and space assembly industries will evolve to develop more sophisticated on orbit, robotic operations. As capabilities mature, the need for higher fidelity imagery will arise. Due to the variable stand-off distances associated with inspection and near field robotic operations, a variable focus imager greatly improves the operator's work