Space

InSight Martian Probe Seismometer Receives Protection from Winds and Heat

In November 2018, the historicevent - on the surface of Mars probe InSight landed, designed to study the internal structure of the planet. His main tool, a seismometer for monitoring the processes occurring inside the planet, was set to work position on December 19. Until now, NASA has carefully tuned the device and now, so that it works without interruptions and gives quality data without interference, has covered it with a special dome to protect against winds and temperature changes.

According to NASA, the device for studying the structureand the dynamics of the Red Planet has a high degree of sensitivity - this feature makes it both powerful and vulnerable sensor. The quality of its performance can be affected even by insignificant Martian winds and even more so the temperature, fluctuations of which can vary up to 90 degrees Celsius. Wind produces extra noise by itself, and temperature changes cause the components of the seismometer to shrink and expand with a bang.

Usually, researchers protect seismometers fromexternal influences, burying them in deep holes. In the case of InSight, this approach is impossible, so NASA initially decided to use a protective dome for this. It has an aerodynamic shape and a “skirt” of chain mail, so it fits tightly to the Martian soil. It also has a lot of temperature-resistant materials - they do not allow the SEIS to heat up too much during the day or cool down too much at night.

Recall that at the end of 2018 InSight sensorsrecorded the sound of the Martian wind blowing at a speed of 5-7 meters per second. You can listen to these recordings in our material of December 8. It is noteworthy that the holding of these records was not planned - everything turned out spontaneously.

What other factors do you think may interfere with the operation of the InSight probe? Feel free to write your suggestions in the comments or in our Telegram chat!