News 23.2.2021

FMI and Vaisala meteorological devices onboard the NASA Perseverance rover are ready for measurements

NASA Perseverance rover landed safely on Mars 18.2.2021. The pressure and humidity instrumentation onboard built by Finnish Meteorological Institute and Vaisala is working and ready for action. First scientific measurements will begin in 10 days time.
This is the first high-resolution, color image to be sent back by the Hazard Cameras (Hazcams) on the underside of NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover after its landing. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Both of the FMI and Vaisala meteorological devices onboard the NASA Perseverance rover have been checked and they are ready for scientific measurements.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) has provided Perseverance with measurement instrumentation. Equipped with Vaisala’s sensors, FMI’s instrumentation will be used to provide accurate and reliable pressure and humidity measurements in the extreme conditions of Mars.

Testing and deployment phase of the rover will last around two weeks and Perseverance will be ready to start scientific measurements in ten days.

“After landing, the rover instruments were alternately switched on for a moment to see that they were in working order. In addition, the camera mast where the FMI/Vaisala humidity device is attached was deployed. In the next coming days, the rover software for surface operations on Mars will be updated”, explains Maria Genzer, head of Planetary Research and Space Technology Group at the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

“We have received short measurements from both the MEDA HS humidity device and the MEDA PS pressure device. Both worked perfectly as expected. Landing is a really rough experience for the measuring devices and it is great to get confirmation that everything was fine”, says research engineer Maria Hieta.

The FMI’s instrumentation is part of the Spanish-led consortium’s Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA). The MEDA instrumentation kit is basically a Martian weather station that takes a wide range of atmospheric measurements: temperature, wind speed and direction, pressure, relative humidity, and the amount and size of dust particles. Vaisala’s pressure and humidity sensors onboard Perseverance are similar, but more advanced, to the ones sent to Mars on the Curiosity rover in 2012.

More information:

Maria Genzer, Head of Planetary Research and Space Technology Group, Finnish Meteorological Institute, +358 29 539 4724,

Maria Hieta, Research Engineer, Finnish Meteorological Institute +358 29 539 2063,

Miia Lahti, Communications Manager, Vaisala +358 50 555 4420,

ResearchSpace technologyMarsPerseverancePlanetary research