General, Research, Technology

Perseverance rover recorded sounds of Ingenuity helicopter

At the end of April 2021, the Perseverance roverrecorded the sounds of the flight of the Martian helicopter Ingenuity. Representatives of the NASA aerospace agency consider this an important historical event, because this is the first time that one Martian apparatus has recorded the sounds of another. The recording was made during the fourth test of the helicopter, in which he broke his own flight range record and took new photographs of the surface of Mars. Not only was it just interesting to watch the flight of the device on a distant planet and hear its sounds, but the recording also revealed interesting details about the properties of a distant planet. The information received will help the future colonizers of Mars quickly get used to unusual conditions and be ready for all sorts of difficulties. But let's not delay and study this topic in more detail.

Ingenuity helicopter flight recorded on video with sound

Ingenuity Martian Helicopter Sounds

Video and sound were recorded on the instrument built into the Perseverance rover SuperCam... Initially, the researchers assumed thatthe microphone will not record anything because the rover was 80 meters from the takeoff and landing of the Ingenuity helicopter. In addition, the nature of the Earth and Mars is very different, so the sound on a distant planet is clearly not propagated in the same way as ours. The fears of scientists were not unfounded, and the rover really with difficulty recorded the sounds emanating from the helicopter. But NASA employees managed to maximize the recording. At least that's what they say.

SuperCam - the tool of the Perseverance rover, whichsends laser beams to the surrounding stones to study their chemical composition. In addition to a camera, it is equipped with a microphone so that scientists can determine certain properties of stones, such as their hardness, from the sounds they make.

As predicted, sounds on Marsspread very slowly and there are several reasons for this. First, the density of the atmosphere of the Red Planet is less than that of the Earth. Secondly, the average temperature on Mars is -63 degrees Celsius, which also slows down the movement of sound waves. Because of this, the speed of sound on Earth is approximately 340 meters per second, while on a planet still alien to us, this figure is 240 meters per second. It is also worth noting that the atmosphere of Mars is 96% carbon dioxide and absorbs high-frequency sounds.

There are big differences between Earth and Mars, so sound propagates there differently.

Because of all this, the resulting record turned out to bevery deaf and quiet. The silence is due to the fact that the Perseverance rover was far enough from the helicopter, and its blades were spinning at a frequency of 2400 rpm. To improve the quality of the recording, the researchers left on it only the sound of helicopter blades with a frequency of 84 hertz. They also reduced the volume of sound at frequencies below 80 and above 90 hertz. The fact that they were able to record the sound of Ingenuity's flight is a great success, says project scientific director David Mimoun. Moreover, considering the fact that the rover was at a great distance.

Martian helicopter flight with sound

Ingenuity Martian Helicopter Sounds

To tell you the truth, many people may not have a impress. Personally, at first I did not hear anything and the video seemed to me silent. The sounds appeared only when I put on the headphones - almost from the very beginning to the end of the video, noise beats in my ears and it is not entirely clear how to recognize the sound of a helicopter. The researchers allegedly processed the recording and removed all unnecessary, but a completely different impression is formed. If you could hear something interesting on the recording, write in the comments or in our Telegram chat.

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In fact, NASA's aerospace agency is nothad high hopes for the Ingenuity helicopter. First of all, the researchers were interested in whether an apparatus of this kind would be able to take off over the Martian surface at all. It turned out that there are no problems with this, so the device is planned to be used further. At the moment, researchers want to use it to explore territories and plot the most simple route for the Perseverance rover. This will use less energy and reduce the risk of machine breakdown. It is worth noting that the development of the rover cost NASA $ 2.7 billion and is the most advanced of all existing devices of this kind.