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Powered Flight on Mars

04/20/2021 3:33 AM

Achieving powered flight on another world is a wonderful achievement. It was a meaningful touch adding a piece of fabric from the Wright brothers' plane to the drone as a mark of respect.

Congratulations to every individual involved, regardless of nationality. Well done.

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#1

Re: Powered Flight on Mars

04/20/2021 11:11 AM

Wait, did they?

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Powered Flight on Mars

04/21/2021 12:02 AM

Indeed they did!

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#7
In reply to #3

Re: Powered Flight on Mars

04/21/2021 9:59 AM

This Elon guy is really intimidating

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Powered Flight on Mars

04/21/2021 10:30 AM

In post 3, "they" refers to NASA and JPL.

How was Elon involved?

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#2

Re: Powered Flight on Mars

04/20/2021 4:43 PM

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: Powered Flight on Mars

04/21/2021 12:36 AM

..."The atmosphere of Mars is much thinner than Earth's. The average surface pressure is only about 610 pascals (0.088 psi) which is less than 1% of the Earth's value. ... The highest atmospheric density on Mars is equal to the density found 35 km (22 mi) above the Earth's surface and is ~0.020 kg/m3."...

...."The atmosphere of Mars is the layer of gases surrounding Mars. It is primarily composed of carbon dioxide (95%), molecular nitrogen (2.8%) and argon (2%).[3] It also contains trace levels of water vapor, oxygen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen and noble gases."...

...."The atmosphere of Mars is colder than Earth's. Owing to the larger distance from the Sun, Mars receives less solar energy and has a lower effective temperature, which is about 210 K (−63 °C; −82 °F).[2] The average surface emission temperature of Mars is just 215 K (−58 °C; −73 °F), which is comparable to inland Antarctica."...

So it's basically like being on the highest mountaintop in the middle of Antarctica, except instead of snow and ice, just dirt, and you only weight about 70 lbs, and you can't breathe, at least not for long......no thanks

On the upside you could probably run like a Gazelle....

...at least until you froze solid....

The Atmosphere of Mars...

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Powered Flight on Mars

04/21/2021 4:42 AM

So what battery chemistry did they use to work in such low temperatures?

Seems to be below the range for Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries?

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Powered Flight on Mars

04/21/2021 8:19 AM

I think they use nuclear batteries which is basically heat transformed into electricity for satellites, but the helicopter does use lithium ion batteries, which are charged by the little solar panel...Not sure how long these batteries will last in these extremes...

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nasas-ingenuity-mars-helicopter-recharges-its-batteries-in-flight

https://mars.nasa.gov/technology/helicopter/#Anatomy

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#9
In reply to #6

Re: Powered Flight on Mars

04/21/2021 5:04 PM

Ok on that thank you. It seemed way to cold for the Li batteries to have any capacity.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Powered Flight on Mars

04/22/2021 2:36 PM

I wonder if they have some way of heating them? They do seem to be encased in a flexible reflective layer....

..."It is important to understand how heat generated inside a battery. Heat is produced in batteries from two sources; electrochemical operation and Joule heating [5-7]. Reference [8] found a way to calculate the battery heat using a thermodynamic energy balance and cited frequently in the literature in its simplified form is shown in equation 3 below where the first term is the heat generation due to Joule heating and the second term is the heat generation due to entropy changes. "...

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1757-899X/53/1/012014/pdf

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Powered Flight on Mars

04/23/2021 11:31 AM

It would certainly be a simple task to add some resistors, possibly in the form of a film, and a temperature controller to connect those resistors to the battery whenever it gets below a set temperature, to keep itself within allowable conditions.

I have noticed that the images of Ingenuity's shadow while flying appear to be looking straight down. This means that the flying is done close to local noon, so the solar panel has most of the morning to replace charge lost to self-heating before the flight, and most of the afternoon to replace the charge used during the flight.

Also, they don't fly it every day, so those days when it does not fly, it will be charging all day long. Fortunately, they don't have to worry about clouds obscuring the Sun!

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#12

Re: Powered Flight on Mars

04/30/2021 6:04 AM

It seems that NASA and JPL had started a series of successful flights. The first flight of the drone was a failure, but each next flight impresses society. The first powered flight on Mars lasted 39 seconds, whereas the third one lasted almost 52 seconds. Ingenuity managed to fly nearly 100 meters and even took a photo of Percy. Isn't it amazing?

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Powered Flight on Mars

04/30/2021 10:10 AM

One cannot simply download an App and press a few buttons. This thing has been engineered to do exactly what it did, at 10-15 light-minutes' distance - <...amazing...> indeed.

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#14
In reply to #12

Re: Powered Flight on Mars

04/30/2021 12:41 PM

Actually, that first failure was NOT intended to be a flight, but rather a simple test of the rotor motors spinning up. The first three flights were all successful. The fourth flight did not take place as intended on April 29th. I haven't yet heard if it took place this morning, April 30th.

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