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HIT contributes to Zhurong's smooth operation

Updated : 2021-06-04

By ( e.my399.com )

China's Martian rover Zhurong has started its scientific exploration mission after moving from the landing platform onto the Red Planet's surface on May 23, marking an important step for the country's scientific tasks on Mars.

Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), a university headquartered in Harbin in China's northernmost Heilongjiang province, has contributed to the successful operation of Zhurong and China's Mars probe, Tianwen-1, by assisting with the research and development of some key materials and technologies.

The instrument-grade aluminum-based silicon carbide composite (SiC/Al) used for the dual-axis antenna driving mechanism of Zhurong was developed by the team of Professor Wu Gaohui from HIT’s School of Materials Science and Engineering.

This material is a new-generation space structure material specially designed for the harsh environments of space. It has a low density, high rigidity, high thermal conductivity, expansion coefficient and bearing matching, and space environment dimensional stability.

The new composite withstood tests simulating environments involving harsh mechanics, a thermal vacuum and extreme temperatures. It has solved the problems of pointing accuracy and position accuracy, as well as lightweighting.

Zhurong is currently working normally on the surface of Mars and its indicators and performance are excellent.

Meanwhile, HIT’s Shenzhen campus participated in the development of the magnetic field detection load of the Tianwen-1 orbiter and the subsequent calibration of magnetic field data.

In cooperation with the University of Science and Technology of China, it developed a non-magnetron satellite magnetic field precision measurement device, which helped to measure the weak magnetic field in space.