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InSight Instrument Cameras

NSSDCA ID: 2018-042A-05

Mission Name: InSight


The InSight lander has two cameras to assist with instrument deployment by aiding in navigation and hazard avoidance during deployment of the instruments, and to provide images of the instruments after deployment. One camera, mounted on the robotic arm, is called the Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC). The other camera, the Instrument Context Camera (ICC) is mounted below the main deck. As well as being engineering instruments, the cameras also provide scientifically useful images of the immediate landing site, field of operations, surrounding region, and atmospheric dust opacity.

The two cameras are virtually identical, differing only in their lenses and filters. Each camera has two components, an electronics package of dimensions 6.7 x 6.9 x 3.4 cm, and the camera head, 4.1 x 5.1 x 1.5 cm in size, holding the optics, detector, and focal plane electronics. The detectors are 1024 x 1024 pixel CCD focal plane devices with three channel RGB color. The spectral wavelength range is roughly 400-700 nm with a pixel size of 12 x 12 microns and a digitization of 12 bits/pixel. Each cameras uses 1.4 W idle and 2.6 W imaging. Exposure time is 6.2 msec to 406 seconds in 6.2 msec intervals.

The IDC is mounted on the upper half of the robotic arm, approximately 0.6 meters from the end, pointing towards the end of the arm holding the instrument deployment mechanism. It has full color capability and a 45 x 45 degree field of view with a resolution of 0.82 mrad/pixel at the center of the field. Focal length is 14.67 mm, f/number is 12, and nominal focus is at 1.0 m. It is used to guide emplacement and troubleshooting of the seismometer and the heat flow instrument. It can be pointed in any direction and can be used to produce full 360 degree panoramas of the area around the lander. Total mass is 217 g. A camera calibration target is mounted on the lander deck.

The ICC is mounted on the underside of the deck, 77 cm above the surface on the side where the robotic arm is mounted. It has a 124 x 124 degree field of view fisheye lens, enabling it to return wide-angle views of the entire ground area within reach of the robotic arm. Angular resolution at the center of the field is 2.1 mrad/pixel. Focal length is 5.58 mm, f/number is 15, and nominal focus is at 0.5 m. Total mass of the system is 246 g.

Alternate Names

  • INSIGHT/InstrumentCameras
  • urn:nasa:pds:context:instrument:icc.insight
  • urn:nasa:pds:context:instrument:idc.insight


  • Planetary Science: Geology and Geophysics

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail

Selected References

  • Maki, J.N., et al., The Color Cameras on the InSight Lander, Space Sci. Rev., 214, 105, doi:10.1007/s11214-018-0536-z, 2018.
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