Six engineering cameras aid in rover navigation and three cameras for science investigations:
1. Engineering Hazcams (Hazard Avoidance Cameras)
Mounted on the lower portion of the front and rear of the rover, these black-and-white cameras use visible light to capture three-dimensional (3-D) imagery. This imagery safeguards against the rover getting lost or inadvertently crashing into unexpected obstacles, and works in tandem with software that allows the rover make its own safety choices and to "think on its own."
The cameras each have a wide field of view of about 120 degrees. The rover uses pairs of Hazcam images to map out the shape of the terrain as far as 3 meters in front of it, in a "wedge" shape that is over 4 meters wide at the farthest distance. It needs to see far on either side, the Hazcam cameras cannot move independently; they¹re mounted directly to the rover body.
2. Two Engineering Navcams (Navigation Cameras)
Mounted on the mast (the rover "neck and head), these black-and-white cameras use visible light to gather panoramic, three-dimensional (3D) imagery. The Navcam is a stereo pair of cameras, each with a 45-degree field of view to support ground navigation planning by scientists and engineers. They work in cooperation with the Hazcams by providing a complementary view of the terrain.
3. Two Science Pancams (Panoramic Cameras)
This camera takes multispectral images. The Pancam is also part of the rover¹s navigation system. (For more see pancams)
4. One Science Microscopic Imager
This monochromatic science camera is mounted on the robotic arm to take extreme close-up pictures of rocks and soil. (For more see MI )