Author Topic: Mars helicopter  (Read 3110 times)

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Online MikeK

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Mars helicopter
« on: March 31, 2021, 12:24:39 am »
Almost ready to be released:

[attachimg=1]
 
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Offline Domagoj T

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2021, 05:35:37 am »
When I first heard about them planning on using a helicopter on Mars, I thought it was a joke. Helicopter in Martian almost nonexistent atmosphere? But apparently they were serious and this is probably even more impressive than the rover itself.
 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2021, 06:52:54 am »
Arrrrrggggghhh! Get to da choppa!

[attachimg=1]
 

Offline joseph nicholas

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2021, 07:06:00 am »
Get your ass to Mars!
 
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Online MikeK

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2021, 12:48:29 pm »
When I first heard about them planning on using a helicopter on Mars, I thought it was a joke. Helicopter in Martian almost nonexistent atmosphere? But apparently they were serious and this is probably even more impressive than the rover itself.

It was a last-minute add-on, and not part of the primary mission.  And it was already tested in a large vacuum chamber on Earth.  And, while cool, they really need to get on with the primary mission since the huge cost was about searching for signs of life.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2021, 01:15:29 pm »
And, while cool, they really need to get on with the primary mission since the huge cost was about searching for signs of life.
Steady on.....

Before diving into anything, it makes a lot of sense to check through each and every part of the package to make sure they are all working as expected.  This is all planned out - and I wouldn't expect them to rush it in any way.  It's not as if you could call roadside assistance.
 

Online MikeK

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2021, 02:53:06 pm »
And, while cool, they really need to get on with the primary mission since the huge cost was about searching for signs of life.
Steady on.....

Before diving into anything, it makes a lot of sense to check through each and every part of the package to make sure they are all working as expected.  This is all planned out - and I wouldn't expect them to rush it in any way.  It's not as if you could call roadside assistance.

My point was...getting on with the checkouts of the primary mission.  It would be pretty foolish to have the rover crash or get hung up while doing something that wasn't the primary mission (which was over $2B).  Secondary missions are typically done...second.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2021, 11:43:08 pm »
Ah.  Fair point.

However, having said that .... the helicopter has captured the interest of the public - and that is a very powerful element in the willingness of the powers-that-be (that are ultimately answerable to their constituents) to provide funding.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2021, 11:45:21 pm by Brumby »
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2021, 12:54:28 am »
And, while cool, they really need to get on with the primary mission since the huge cost was about searching for signs of life.
Steady on.....

Before diving into anything, it makes a lot of sense to check through each and every part of the package to make sure they are all working as expected.  This is all planned out - and I wouldn't expect them to rush it in any way.  It's not as if you could call roadside assistance.

My point was...getting on with the checkouts of the primary mission.  It would be pretty foolish to have the rover crash or get hung up while doing something that wasn't the primary mission (which was over $2B).  Secondary missions are typically done...second.

What's the rush? They're working on doing the primary mission, from what I understand there's quite a bit of waiting between the various steps. It's not like they're just goofing off getting ready to fly a helicopter around and neglecting the primary mission, some of this stuff can be done in parallel.

I half expect the helicopter to fall over and crash about 3 feet from the takeoff point but we'll see.
 

Online MikeK

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2021, 01:46:21 am »
I'm expecting the helicopter to work.  They've already tested it in a near vacuum and winds on Mars are terribly weak.  I'm holding out for evidence of microbial life, though.
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2021, 02:26:09 am »
I think I found the tech details: Mars Helicopter Technology Demonstrator
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Online MikeK

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2021, 01:43:13 pm »
Launch is delayed for some reason.  Now it's no earlier than the 11th.  I wonder if they need more time to charge the batteries.
 

Offline tszaboo

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2021, 03:03:08 pm »
Launch is delayed for some reason.  Now it's no earlier than the 11th.  I wonder if they need more time to charge the batteries.
Probably weather. While the winds are much less than in the movies with Matt Daemon, its still a helicopter.

Quote
Assuming that 20% of the power is at the peak load of 510 W and 80% is at a continuous load of 360 W, approximately 90 sec of flight is possible.
This is slightly disappointing, but understandable.

What would be the power dinamics of the flight? Martian atmosphere is much less dense, so it would need larger propellers or faster rotation. But on the other hand, if a propeller is in reduced atmosphere, and its moving less air, then there is less friction at the same propeller speed. Soo... With the same electrical power put in (assuming frictionless bearings and such) do you reach the same lift power? Only your propeller is much faster?
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Offline RoGeorge

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2021, 03:16:13 pm »
A larger, stitched view, together with the mothership:
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap210403.html

Online MikeK

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2021, 03:30:23 pm »
A larger, stitched view, together with the mothership:
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap210403.html

Oh, it still hasn't been dropped yet.
 

Online MikeK

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2021, 02:54:32 am »
It's dropped off now:

 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2021, 03:13:06 am »
"Hey fellas, wait for me!"
 

Online MikeK

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« Last Edit: April 09, 2021, 06:51:58 pm by MikeK »
 

Offline Bud

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2021, 06:18:53 am »
Apparently they are having issues

Quote
On Friday (April 9), the helicopter attempted to test its blades at full speed, the final precursor to taking flight, but that was the procedure that the watchdog timer cut short.

"The watchdog timer oversees the command sequence and alerts the system to any potential issues," NASA officials wrote in the statement. "It helps the system stay safe by not proceeding if an issue is observed and worked as planned."
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Offline RoGeorge

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2021, 10:55:33 am »
Quote
"The watchdog timer oversees the command sequence and alerts the system to any potential issues," NASA officials wrote in the statement. "It helps the system stay safe by not proceeding if an issue is observed and worked as planned."

That's the most misleading description of a watchdog timer I ever read.

Offline dbctronic

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2021, 01:17:53 am »
Yes, actually it's a waitdog timer, only has the brains to wait at a fixed rate of one second per second. Amoebas are much smarter.
Why don't they call them deadman switches anymore?  :-//
 

Offline RoGeorge

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2021, 02:38:01 am »
Why don't they call them deadman switches anymore?  :-//

You are not the only one who asked such questions.



 ;D

Online CatalinaWOW

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2021, 04:44:55 am »
I don't know about the rest of you, but I was recalibrated on this over the weekend when a couple of TV reporters were at JPL and got to touch and handle a full scale model (perhaps backup hardware).  I envisioned this thing a couple of dozen cm tall, very toy like.  Instead it is something like a meter and a half tall.  The rotors span well over a meter.  And at design speed are turning over 2000 rpm.  Very advanced materials in the blades to deal with centrifugal effects.

The arguments about whether it is worth spending any time on this are complex without even bringing funding politics into it.  Even assuming the primary mission is to find life (or ascertain whether life does or ever has existed) the helicopter might be important.  If the proof of this does not happen to be along the rovers planned route the mission will fail.  Mars orbiters can only provide some level of guidance on the path to follow.  The mobile scouting capability provided by the helicopter might be important on this mission, and would certainly be important for a follow on mission if the question is not answered by the current rover.  Thus there is potential value now, and real value in proving the technology for a future mission.  The chance that this will not be answered soon is high given that all landers since Viking have had finding life some part of their purpose.  Each has found tantalizing evidence that might be indicative of life, but none has been conclusive.  Those launching each of these missions felt they were gathering the data that might answer the questions, but Mars proved mysterious.
 

Offline Bud

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2021, 04:50:17 am »
I envisioned this thing a couple of dozen cm tall, very toy like.  Instead it is something like a meter and a half tall.  The rotors span well over a meter.  And at design speed are turning over 2000 rpm.   

...Running on a laptop-sized battery?  :-//
Facebook-free life and Rigol-free shack.
 

Offline rs20

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Re: Mars helicopter
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2021, 06:35:11 am »
I don't know about the rest of you, but I was recalibrated on this over the weekend when a couple of TV reporters were at JPL and got to touch and handle a full scale model (perhaps backup hardware).  I envisioned this thing a couple of dozen cm tall, very toy like.  Instead it is something like a meter and a half tall.  The rotors span well over a meter.  And at design speed are turning over 2000 rpm.  Very advanced materials in the blades to deal with centrifugal effects.

The copter has a rotor span of 1.2m, but it's "only" 0.5m (4 dozen cm :-) ) high, not 1.5m (1.5m is nearly the height of the average adult woman).
 


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