UV laser wire marking technology used in manufacture of Nasa InSight lander

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UV laser wire marking technology pioneered by Welsh firm Spectrum Technologies was used in the manufacture of NASA’ JPLs InSight lander, currently exploring the deep interior of Mars. (Image: Nasa JPL)

The InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) lander touched down on Mars in late November, and deployed its first instrument, the highest priority seismometer onto the surface of Mars before the close of the year to measure ‘Marsquakes’. The two year mission is surveying the surrounding area and deploying the mission critical instruments, such as a planned heat probe later this month. Results should start to come through in about a year’s time.

Spectrum Technologies' fully automated Nova 820 UV laser wire marking equipment was used by InSight’s prime contractor Lockheed Martin Space in Denver to laser mark, measure and cut to length all the wires in the manufacture of the lander's complex electrical wiring system.

“We may only have played a small part in this interplanetary project but I and all the team at Spectrum are exceptionally proud and excited to be associated with the Mars InSight programme,' said Dr Peter Dickinson, CEO at Spectrum. 'InSight is truly leading edge and we look forward with anticipation to seeing what new knowledge it turns up while it explores Mars and its deep interior.” 

Spectrum Technologies' fully automated Nova 820 UV laser wire marking equipment was used by InSight’s prime contractor to laser mark, measure and cut to length all the wires in the manufacture of the lander's complex electrical wiring system. (Image: Spectrum Technologies)

Apart from using the equipment for the InSight programme, Lockheed Martin Space utilises the equipment for many other different programmes, including the wiring produced for the Kennedy Space Center for the Orion programme. 

Based in Bridgend, Wales, Spectrum Technologies has over 30 years’ experience in ultra violet laser technology, and its laser wire and cable processing equipment is used by every major aircraft manufacturer in the world, including Airbus, Boeing and BAE Systems. Since the company was founded in 1989, it has supplied almost 1,000 laser wire marking systems to over 50 countries. Spectrum typically exports more than 95 per cent of its annual output from its Bridgend factory and has won numerous Queen’s Awards for International Trade.

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