ChemCam at a glance

The ChemCam instrument is an international collaboration led by Los Alamos National Laboratory in the United States and the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planetologie in France.

 

ChemCam is on the Curiosity rover, exploring Gale Crater at Mars since 2012. It is used to perform rapid chemical and microscopic reconnaissance

 

Pulsed laser vaporizes targets up to 5 meters away. The spectrum of light from the laser-induced plasma reveals the chemical composition of the targets in seconds. ChemCam can detect most elements!

 

It also provides images of targets with high-resolution (can see a human hair 2 meters away).

ChemCam slide show

  • slide show

ChemCam mosaic

Curiosity Mission Updates

  • Sols 3051-3053: In Your (Cliff) Face
    on 5 March 2021 at 0 h 00 min

    In planning today, the team decided to drive to a drill location closer to the cliff face of 'Mont Mercou.' Before we do that, Mastcam will take a stereo mosaic of the […]

JPL Mars news

Curiosity Mission Updates

  • Sols 3051-3053: In Your (Cliff) Face
    on 5 March 2021 at 0 h 00 min

    In planning today, the team decided to drive to a drill location closer to the cliff face of 'Mont Mercou.' Before we do that, Mastcam will take a stereo mosaic of the drill site (the flat patch of bright outcrop visible in this Navcam image) as well as a larger stereo mosaic of the cliff face to […]

  • Sols 3049-3050: Marval-ous
    on 3 March 2021 at 0 h 00 min

    Curiosity continues her climb up toward the lovely cliff of "Mont Mercou" and what could be the start of the sulfate-rich layers of "Mount Sharp" that the science team has had their eye on since Gale crater was identified as our landing site. Mountain climbing has its risks, though, and we found […]

  • Sols 3047-3048: Touch, Remote Sensing, and Go!
    on 1 March 2021 at 0 h 00 min

    This two-sol plan includes arm, remote sensing and mobility activities on Sol 3047 and more remote sensing on Sol 3048. To continue the sampling of chemistry and texture of the rubbly bedrock as we traverse across it, APXS will perform a short integration on a bedrock block named 'Daglan' before […]

  • Sols 3044-3046: Lots of Dark Sand
    on 26 February 2021 at 0 h 00 min

    The Sol 3044 drive brought MSL to an area mostly covered by dark sand, with very few exposed rocks in the arm workspace. So one of the first things I did this morning as MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead was to search for good locations for contact science. Unfortunately, none of the rocks that the arm can […]

  • Sols 3042-3043: Watch Your Step!
    on 24 February 2021 at 0 h 00 min

    Curiosity presses on to the east within Gale Crater, characterizing compositional variations within the underlying bedrock as we continue to march uphill and encounter sedimentary rocks that record the ancient geologic and environmental conditions within the crater. Over the past 35 sols, Curiosity […]

Last 5 peer-reviewed ChemCam-related publications

(1) Thomas, N. H.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Meslin, P.-Y.; Rapin, W.; Anderson, D. E.; Rivera‐Hernández, F.; Forni, O.; Schröder, S.; Cousin, A.; Mangold, N.; et al. Mars Science Laboratory Observations of Chloride Salts in Gale Crater, Mars. Geophysical Research Letters 2019, 46 (19), 10754–10763. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL082764.
(2) Rapin, W.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Dromart, G.; Schieber, J.; Thomas, N. H.; Fischer, W. W.; Fox, V. K.; Stein, N. T.; Nachon, M.; Clark, B. C.; et al. An Interval of High Salinity in Ancient Gale Crater Lake on Mars. Nat. Geosci. 2019, 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-019-0458-8.
(3) Savijärvi, H.; McConnochie, T. H.; Harri, A.-M.; Paton, M. Water Vapor Mixing Ratios and Air Temperatures for Three Martian Years from Curiosity. Icarus 2019, 326, 170–175. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2019.03.020.
(4) Schröder, S.; Rammelkamp, K.; Vogt, D. S.; Gasnault, O.; Hübers, H.-W. Contribution of a Martian Atmosphere to Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) Data and Testing Its Emission Characteristics for Normalization Applications. Icarus 2019, 325, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2019.02.017.
(5) Sun, V. Z.; Stack, K. M.; Kah, L. C.; Thompson, L.; Fischer, W.; Williams, A. J.; Johnson, S. S.; Wiens, R. C.; Kronyak, R. E.; Nachon, M.; et al. Late-Stage Diagenetic Concretions in the Murray Formation, Gale Crater, Mars. Icarus 2019, 321, 866–890. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2018.12.030.