The NASA Curiosity rover began to explore its new home on Mars this week due in part to electronic assemblies manufactured by Flextronics (NASDAQ: FLEX). The microelectronics assemblies, built at the Company's facility in Valencia, California, integrate into 47 actuators that perform mobility tasks for the movable joints and motion applications. These sensors provide performance feedback from the actuators to the system avionics.
The sensors, called cold encoders, are designed to measure actuator position, velocity and other performance criteria in extreme temperature changes which on Mars range from -128 to +85 degrees Celsius. The data is then used to adjust performance of the actuators allowing Curiosity to move and maneuver.
"Flextronics is extremely proud to have played a part in this historical exploratory mission to Mars," said Paul Humphries, President of Flextronics High Reliability Solutions group. "We share NASA's excitement for the complex rover program and are thrilled to have contributed to this important scientific exploration."
Flextronics' Valencia facility specializes in highly reliable and durable microelectronics for aerospace, defense and medical applications.
In addition to the electronics assemblies, Multek Flexible Circuits, a Flextronics company that manufactures Sheldahl Brand Materials provided thermal control materials that enabled Curiosity to travel safely to Mars. Multek Flexible Circuits, located in Northfield, Minnesota, is a leader in the development and production of thin film coatings on flexible substrates for satellites, spacecraft and launch vehicles.
Flextronics is a leading Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider focused on delivering complete design, engineering and manufacturing services to aerospace and defense, automotive, computing, consumer, industrial, infrastructure, medical, clean tech and mobile OEMs. Flextronics helps customers design, build, ship and service electronics products through a network of facilities in 30 countries on four continents. This global presence provides design and engineering solutions that are combined with core electronics manufacturing and logistics services, and are vertically integrated with components technologies, to optimize customer operations by lowering costs and reducing time to market. For more information, please visit http://www.flextronics.com/.