NASA’s Perseverance rover commences cutting-edge scientific measurements on Mars with Finnish equipment


NASA’s Perseverance rover has now spent its first months on the surface of Mars. The testing and deployment phase is proceeding well, and after the first technology demonstration with the Ingenuity helicopter, the rover is commencing the continuous scientific measurements. With the arrival of the humidity and pressure measurement instruments onboard Perseverance, the first meteorological network on another planet is being created.

The Perseverance rover landed successfully on Mars in February 2021 and will now explore an ancient river delta in the Jezero Crater for at least the next Martian year, which is approximately two Earth years. After the landing, the rover stretched its robotic arms and has already delivered a good number of high-quality photos, videos, and audio samples back to Earth.

The rover’s Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) instrumentation suite, developed by a Spanish-led research consortium, has also been deployed. MEDA is a weather station that has been developed specifically for the conditions on Mars. Instruments by the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) and Vaisala are included in the MEDA suite to measure pressure and humidity conditions on Mars.
The measurements and local wind data provided by the MEDA suite is also used by the Ingenuity Helicopter.

The measurement instruments need to be able to deliver reliable high-quality measurements even after the long space journey.

“Accurate and reliable science-based measurements are at the core of Mars research. That’s why it is great to receive verification that our sensors are working in the extreme conditions on Mars, even after the demanding space journey. Vaisala’s measurement technology is at its best in challenging measurement conditions,” says Liisa Åström, Vice President of Products and Systems at Vaisala.

“The equipment on Mars needs to work in all conditions and is tested accordingly. Manufacturing, testing, and finalizing the measurement instruments has been a major project lasting many years, so it feels great to see the instruments finally at work on Mars,” summarizes Maria Hieta, Research Engineer at FMI.

Hieta continues: “For instance, the humidity measurement instruments on Perseverance have gone through a tough selection process. FMI built 13 different instrument models around the humidity sensor, and these models were tested several times in harsh conditions such as very low temperatures. Additionally, the tests exposed them to vibration and shocks. The most reliable model was chosen as part of the MEDA equipment.”

First measurements reflect expectations

The MEDA equipment has now delivered the first round-the-clock measurement series on pressure and relative humidity to Earth. The measured values correspond to what was expected.

“The pressure levels and variation according to the time of day in the Jezero Crater reflect our models well. Relative humidity is practically zero (0% RH) during the day and rises during the night as the local temperature falls to nearly -80 °C. For comparison, 20 percent relative humidity is considered very low on Earth, and relative humidity near zero is hardly ever measured. The pressure data has also let us observe dust devils passing Perseverance, showing them as fast and sharp declines in the pressure signal,” explains Maria Genzer, Group Leader of Planetary Research and Space Technology at FMI.

Martian weather conditions and atmosphere interest Finnish researchers

The Perseverance rover has been designed to explore Mars’ conditions and geology as well as to search for signs of ancient life. Even though signs of life are fascinating, Finnish researchers are especially interested in the Martian atmosphere.

“Earth and Mars share a lot of similarities, which is why we find the study of Mars’ atmosphere so fascinating: it helps us to understand the behavior of Earth’s atmosphere. Additionally, dust storms on Mars can be harsh, so it is crucial to be able to predict the storms if we are to send manned space missions to Mars in the future. For this reason, Mars needs a weather station network,” states Maria Genzer.

Meteorological observation network based on Finnish expertise

Perseverance and the Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars in 2012, provide measurements approximately 3,700 kilometers apart from each other. Both rovers carry similar Finnish pressure and humidity measurement instruments, which deliver data that is sent to Earth for analysis.

The data from the rovers, combined with observations from NASA’s InSight Lander on Mars, form the first three-point meteorological observation network on another planet. The network will enable even more accurate modeling of Mars’ atmosphere and its phenomena.

“In the future, we hope to get more measurement points on Mars. This is the ultimate goal for example in our MetNet program, in which we are developing small probes that will impact and penetrate Mars’ surface. These probes would then form a comprehensive meteorological observation network on the planet,” Maria Hieta explains.

The Mars 2020 mission is a part of NASA’s Mars exploration program. One of the main tasks of the Perseverance rover is to gather and store a series of rock and soil samples that can be brought back to Earth for analysis in the future. Finnish technology is scheduled to be launched to Mars again in 2022 aboard the ExoMars mission by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian space agency Roscosmos.


EY announces 2021 Better Working World Data Challenge focused on wildfire management through data analytics and AI


EY today announces the 2021 Better Working World Data Challenge, a global competition for aspiring data scientists. The Challenge is part of the EY commitment to innovate and use technology to address some of the world’s largest environmental and climate change problems. The focus of this year’s competition is on leveraging data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to help find solutions to better manage wildfires.

The global Challenge has been expanded to include all university students and non-students with less than two years of professional experience in data science or a related field, building on the inaugural 2019 program where participation was limited to university students from 19 countries.

EY is working in collaboration with Microsoft, which is providing its Azure cloud platform to participants. Individuals will use the platform along with satellite imagery provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to create algorithms to help wildfire management teams improve front-line decision-making during fire emergency responses. These models will include capabilities to generate fire-edge maps or predict where a fire may spread.

Carmine Di Sibio, EY Global Chairman and CEO, says:

“The EY purpose of building a better working world drives us every day. We are committed to enabling the next generation of talent in finding solutions to some of the most pressing challenges globally. Many countries have faced significant loss of life and disruption due to wildfires and we are proud to support efforts that can look to address this issue using the power of data and technology.”

During the three-month competition period, a series of webinars jointly provided by technologists from EY and Microsoft will provide participants with additional information about the tasks in the Challenge and help them familiarize themselves with the Azure environment, develop additional skills and refine their work. A network of wildfire authorities, earth observation groups and science education organizations will also provide support and knowledge so the participants’ work can create maximum impact and change through data, AI and technology.

Beatriz Sanz Saiz, EY Global Consulting Data and Analytics Leader, says:

“It is essential to encourage aspiring data scientists and help them recognize that they can apply their skills to analyze real-world problems and develop algorithms that can have a lasting positive impact. We want participants to use the power of data science to find innovative solutions to the most complex and demanding problems. We are very excited to see the kinds of transformative AI models that our 2021 Better Working World Data Challenge participants will propose this year, and in years to come, to help build a better world.”

The winning algorithms will be announced in July 2021 and winners will receive cash prizes.


Automotive Defogger System Market is expected to register a modest increase in the near-term assessment period – Persistence Market Research


Road accidents are a major cause for concern for countries across the world. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that, road accident crashes are a leading cause of deaths across the United States among people aged 1 to 54. Every day, nearly 3,700 fatalities are witnessed due to vehicular accidents. According to W.H.O, crash injuries comprise a major economic burden for lower- and middle-income countries, and it is expected that non-fatal crash injuries will cost nearly US$ 2 trillion to the global economy. Most of these accidents occur due to poor visibility conditions in extreme climatic environments. Therefore, in light of these developments, the popularity of defogging and defrosting systems is soaring, creating credible growth opportunities for the automotive defogger system market over the coming years.

Key Takeaways from Automotive Defogger System Market Study

  • By position, rear automotive defogger systems are expected to retain lucrativeness in the automotive defogger system market.
  • Europe and North America will jointly dominate the global automotive defogger system market, while Asia Pacific will attract major investments.
  • Primary defogging technology to remain preferred, rising technological advancements to amplify secondary defogging solution demand.
  • Passenger vehicles will remain the key application area, attributed to rising private vehicle ownership.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the automotive market space hard, eventually impacting the automotive defogger system market. As manufacturing activities and demand pick pace, the growth trajectory of the market will get back to normal.

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“As governments race to curb road accident fatalities, stringent regulatory provisions are being envisioned, thus creating opportunity frontiers for prominent manufacturers in the automotive defogger system market in the long run,” comments a Persistence Market Research Analyst.

Global Climate Change Patterns to Heighten Demand

The previous decade has finally proven that climate change is a reality. According to a NASA report, the 2010-2019 decade was the hottest in the past 140 years. Consequently, erratic weather patterns have led to untold destruction and damage. Frequent hurricanes and wildfires have greatly disrupted livelihoods. Therefore, the 2015 Paris Climate Accords was hailed as a welcome gesture, reaffirming states’ commitments to reduce global carbon footprint to the tune of over 30%.

Erratic weather patterns have naturally led to increased incidence of fog and unseasonal rains, dry spells, and snowstorms. Therefore, automotive manufacturers have accelerated efforts to equip automotive with advanced defogging and defrosting technologies and devices in order to aid government efforts to downsize the global menace of surging road accidents.

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Automotive Defogger System Market: Competitive Landscape

Prominent players profiled in PMR’s automotive defogger system market include Henkel Corporation, Gates Corporation, Planned Product LLC, Shenzhen Haohaichang Industrial Co. Ltd., NXP Semiconductors, Delphi Automotive Plc., Denso Corporation, and Toyoda Gosei, among others.

Numerous collaborations, acquisitions, capacity expansion projects, and product launches pepper the global automotive defogger system market

For instance, Toyoda Gosei acquired a major stake in Ball Wave Inc., a startup initiated by the Tohoku University to further its practical applications of SAW business.

In 2019, Chinese giant Shenzhen Haohaichang unveiled a brand new industrial plant measuring 13,000 m2 to augment its production capacities in automotive, medical equipment, and temperature equipment manufacturing businesses. This new plant is situated in HuizhouGuangdong Province.

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Explore More Valuable Insights on Automotive Defogger System Market

Persistence Market Research, in its new report, offers an impartial analysis of the global automotive defogger system market, presenting historical data (2015-2019) and estimation statistics for the period of 2020-2030. The study offers compelling insights on the automotive defogger system market based on position (side glass defogger systems, front automotive defogger systems, and rear automotive defogger systems), vehicle type (passenger vehicles, light commercial vehicles, and heavy commercial vehicles), and technology (primary and secondary), across seven major regions.