Mars helicopter - interesting technology

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Mars helicopter - interesting technology

Unread post by GRAHAMW » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:27 am

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Re: Mars helicopter - interesting technology

Unread post by vanjast » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:23 pm

Neat little device...
Maybe some upgrades needed.

- radiation hardened, milspec chips (cannot see any there)
- Besides keeping warm at night, keeping cool during the day is going to be an even bigger problem.
Thin atmosphere = reduced heat radiated == heat generated to keep cool == catch22?

My pizza bet --> I don't think it will last very long, if it survives at all.
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Re: Mars helicopter - interesting technology

Unread post by Kortbroek » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:16 pm

vanjast wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:23 pm
Neat little device...
Maybe some upgrades needed.

- radiation hardened, milspec chips (cannot see any there)
- Besides keeping warm at night, keeping cool during the day is going to be an even bigger problem.
Thin atmosphere = reduced heat radiated == heat generated to keep cool == catch22?

My pizza bet --> I don't think it will last very long, if it survives at all.
Heat won't be an issue I suspect:
Differing in situ values have been reported for the average temperature on Mars, with a common value being −63 °C (210 K; −81 °F). Surface temperatures may reach a high of about 20 °C (293 K; 68 °F) at noon, at the equator, and a low of about −153 °C (120 K; −243 °F) at the poles.
And in the video they explain all about the radiation shielding etc. I'm impressed you can identify what tech they used from this video.... :mrgreen:
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Re: Mars helicopter - interesting technology

Unread post by vanjast » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:06 pm

Kortbroek wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:16 pm
.. I'm impressed you can identify what tech they used from this video.... :mrgreen:
It's part of my job.. for the past few decades, besides other distractions like 'flying'. :mrgreen:
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Re: Mars helicopter - interesting technology

Unread post by Darren » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:47 pm

vanjast wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:23 pm
Neat little device...
Maybe some upgrades needed.

- radiation hardened, milspec chips (cannot see any there)
- Besides keeping warm at night, keeping cool during the day is going to be an even bigger problem.
Thin atmosphere = reduced heat radiated == heat generated to keep cool == catch22?

My pizza bet --> I don't think it will last very long, if it survives at all.
Remember, the mission is only supposed to last five 90 second flights over thirty days. It doesn't have to be that durable compared to a months-long mission.

The FPGA (ProASIC3L) is mil-spec and radiation-hardened. The remainder of the avionics are COTS, but selected from industrial or automotive components with high-reliability and resistance to single-event latch-ups along with the ability to clear latch-ups on demand, which makes them semi-radiation-hardened. Only the FPGA will be active for the duration of the mission, the others will be cycled as needed.

Yes, it's slightly more risky than going all rad-hard & mil-spec, but it brings down the price substantially and means much newer generation chips can be used. In this case the main processor is a Snapdragon SoC from Intrinsyc, giving them much more interesting on-chip capabilities for relatively low cost.

With regard to thermal protection, there are five separate heating zones with the largest being the battery heaters. The batteries and electronics are thermally isolated from the rest of the fuselage by Ultem spacers (and other low-conductive materials) and CO₂ gas gaps. The entire fuselage is surrounded by kapton film with high absorption and low emissivity, to maximise daytime solar energy absorption and reduce night time heat loss. Both the JPL's own testing and a set of simulations run by a separate team at CalTech and LoadPath confirmed that the electronics have plenty of thermal margin for the needed flight duration. The batteries are within margin too, but JPL's working to improve that as far as possible.

So I think you were being far too flippant. If anyone has experience with Martian conditions it's JPL: Thus far they're still the only organisation that has successfully designed, built, launched, landed, and operated mobile rovers on Mars. They're hardly new at this.

Of course this mission might still fail. Landing on Mars won't become a low-risk or routine thing for a long time, and nobody has ever attempted anything quite like this mission. That's why the rover it launches from will be the primary mission, with the helicopter being a riskier experiment that'll either provide a substantial bonus or send back valuable data if it fails.
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Re: Mars helicopter - interesting technology

Unread post by vanjast » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:52 pm

Darren wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:47 pm
So I think you were being far too flippant.
Your opinion..
A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link... and you're ok to send this into an environment far worse than any military environment on earth with sub-spec components, and expect it to work - They'll be lucky if it does.
Not to mention all the money spent on this part of the project...
Darren wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:47 pm
If anyone has experience with Martian conditions it's JPL: Thus far they're still the only organisation that has successfully designed, built, launched, landed, and operated mobile rovers on Mars. They're hardly new at this.
That is currently under scrutiny :mrgreen:
Let JPL/NASA provide an unfiltered independent feed of Moon/Mars communication for others to observe.. then we'll agree on that topic. :wink:
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Re: Mars helicopter - interesting technology

Unread post by Darren » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:40 pm

vanjast wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:52 pm
That is currently under scrutiny :mrgreen:
Let JPL/NASA provide an unfiltered independent feed of Moon/Mars communication for others to observe.. then we'll agree on that topic. :wink:
You'll have to explain that one further, especially given that amateurs have successfully received telemetry from both Moon and Mars missions.
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Re: Mars helicopter - interesting technology

Unread post by vanjast » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:11 pm

Video feed or general telemetry ? It's much easier to orbit mars than land on it... successfully.

Phobos (~10,000 Km orbit) and Deimos (~25,000 Km orbit) are narrow angles at ~200 x 10^6 km average Mars distance - an orbiting object would look like it is on Mars. In fact the orbiting object is the one that 'communicates' with earth,

If it's video in 'real time'... I have no argument, but I haven't seen/heard of that yet, even from NASA/JPL watchdogs.
I also wouldn't rule out an Earth-Mars-Earth relay as I have little trust in them considering their track record. :D

To install public confidence, if I was SpaceX/Nasa/JPL/ArianeSpace/etc... I'd have an 'independent acceptable' person/company insert a cryptic code into the Drone's/Rover's telemetry. With this confirmed on earth to say it's the genuine thingy, would go somewhat further. :wink:
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Re: Mars helicopter - interesting technology

Unread post by Darren » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:36 am

vanjast wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:11 pm
Video feed or general telemetry ? It's much easier to orbit mars than land on it... successfully.
...
To install public confidence, if I was SpaceX/Nasa/JPL/ArianeSpace/etc... I'd have an 'independent acceptable' person/company insert a cryptic code into the Drone's/Rover's telemetry. With this confirmed on earth to say it's the genuine thingy, would go somewhat further. :wink:
Let me guess, you’re one of those people who believes d there’s a huge conspiracy and nothing has successfully landed on the Moon or Mars?
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Re: Mars helicopter - interesting technology

Unread post by Deanw » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:46 am

NASA: Aug 28, 2019
NASA's Mars Helicopter Attached to Mars 2020 Rover

Engineers attached NASA's Mars Helicopter, which will be the first aircraft to fly on another planet, to the belly of the Mars 2020 rover today in the High Bay 1 clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The twin-rotor, solar-powered helicopter was connected, along with the Mars Helicopter Delivery System, to a plate on the rover's belly that includes a cover to shield the helicopter from debris during entry, descent and landing. The helicopter will remain encapsulated after landing, deploying to the surface once a suitable area to conduct test flights is found at Jezero Crater , the rover's destination.

The Mars Helicopter is considered a high-risk, high-reward technology demonstration. If the small craft encounters difficulties, the science-gathering of the Mars 2020 mission won't be impacted. If the helicopter does take flight as designed, future Mars missions could enlist second-generation helicopters to add an aerial dimension to their explorations.

"Our job is to prove that autonomous, controlled flight can be executed in the extremely thin Martian atmosphere," said JPL's MiMi Aung, the Mars Helicopter project manager. "Since our helicopter is designed as a flight test of experimental technology, it carries no science instruments. But if we prove powered flight on Mars can work, we look forward to the day when Mars helicopters can play an important role in future explorations of the Red Planet."

Along with investigating difficult-to-reach destinations such as cliffs, caves and deep craters, they could carry small science instruments or act as scouts for human and robotic explorers. The agency intends to establish a sustained human presence on and around the Moon through NASA's Artemis lunar exploration plans, using the Moon as a stepping stone to putting humans on Mars.

"The Wright Brothers flew the first airplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, but they built it in Dayton," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "The Mars Helicopter, destined to be the first aircraft to fly on another world, was built in Pasadena, California. Joined now to the 2020 rover, it is yet another example of how NASA's Artemis generation is expanding humanity's reach in our solar system."

"With this joining of two great spacecraft, I can say definitively that all the pieces are in place for a historic mission of exploration," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA's headquarters in Washington. "Together, Mars 2020 and the Mars Helicopter will help define the future of science and exploration of the Red Planet for decades to come."

The Mars 2020 rover, with the Mars Helicopter aboard, will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in July 2020 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. When it lands at Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021, the rover will be the first spacecraft in the history of planetary exploration with the ability to accurately retarget its point of touchdown during the landing sequence.

JPL is building and will manage operations of the Mars 2020 rover and the Mars Helicopter for NASA. NASA's Launch Services Program, based at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for launch management. Lockheed Martin Space provided the Mars Helicopter Delivery System.
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Re: Mars helicopter - interesting technology

Unread post by Deanw » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:51 am

My boarding pass: :D
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Re: Mars helicopter - interesting technology

Unread post by apollo11 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:16 pm

Deanw wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:51 am
My boarding pass: :D
Dang Dean, you really want to to go up there when all sorts of weirdo flesh-eating creatures are just waiting to slice and dice you up and then gobble you up whilst still alive! Did you not watch Mars1 and Starship Troopers, that was creepy, don't start me on Prometheus...terrifying! :lol:

Jokes aside - would be great to see some low-level aerial footage of the Martian surface...
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Re: Mars helicopter - interesting technology

Unread post by Deanw » Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:55 pm

apollo11 wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:16 pm
Deanw wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:51 am
My boarding pass: :D
Dang Dean, you really want to to go up there when all sorts of weirdo flesh-eating creatures are just waiting to slice and dice you up and then gobble you up whilst still alive! Did you not watch Mars1 and Starship Troopers, that was creepy, don't start me on Prometheus...terrifying! :lol:

Jokes aside - would be great to see some low-level aerial footage of the Martian surface...
Maybe so, but the Heineken rover/pub is also there!
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Re: Mars helicopter - interesting technology

Unread post by vanjast » Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:44 pm

Darren wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:36 am
Let me guess, you’re one of those people who believes d there’s a huge conspiracy and nothing has successfully landed on the Moon or Mars?
No human's that is.. :wink: Maybe there are skeletons and pieces of metal over there.

Dean... I would cash that pass in quick. :twisted:

Pity they didn't speak to Niell before he passed..https://www.aulis.com/news316.htm
Not to mention that funny 'computer' that failed just before landing :lol:

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