The flight plan calls for Ingenuity to take off, climb to 16 ft (5 m) and perform a sideways maneuver before landing. The flight was originally supposed to take place no earlier than September 17, but it depended on the mission team’s preparedness for opportunity. Updates will be published on Perservance’s official Twitter feed as more developments are reported. RELATED: Let NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter Explore Mars’ Interesting Raised Bridges
The short test flight, whenever it occurs, is expected to involve a rotor speed of approximately 2,700 revolutions per minute (RPM), assuming a planned ground test of 2,800 RPM spin goes to plan. (By comparison, prior Mars experience had Ingenuity flight at about 2,537 rpm.) The higher rotation rate, engineers hope, will allow the drone to fly despite the thinner atmospheric density. “The difference may seem small, but it has a significant impact on Ingenuity’s ability to fly,” Gripp explained. Ingenuity’s thrust margin, or the thrust the drone exerts above what it needs to hover, is decreasing due to the thinning of Mars’ atmosphere. If atmospheric density drops too far, perhaps Ingenuity can come close to a stall in mid-air.
But Ingenuity was not built to replace changing seasonal conditions. Originally, the atmospheric density at Jezero Crater was about 1.2% to 1.5% of that of Earth. But now the preferred for flight is the density reaching 1% during the midday hours, when currents from the ground cause less instability for low-flying drones. “Thankfully, there is a way to deal with this issue – but it involves spinning the rotors faster than they have ever been,” Gripp continued. “In fact, they will have to spin much faster than we’ve tried with Ingenuity or any of our test helicopters on Earth. It’s not something we take lightly, which is why our next mission to Mars The focus will be on carefully testing high rotor speeds in preparation for future flights.”
Gripp reported that Ingenuity’s flight mission was designed just a few months after the Perseverance mission landed inside Mars’ Jezero crater in February. Simplicity exceeded expectations and is still flying, testing how rotorcraft can act as rovers or perhaps as scouts for manned missions. “It’s actually getting more difficult every day: I’m talking about atmospheric density, which was already very low and is now falling further because of seasonal changes on Mars,” NASA jets into the south. Propulsion Laboratory’s Ingenuity chief pilot Howard Gripp Calif. wrote in the update.
“If the blade tips came sufficiently close to the speed of sound, they would experience a very large increase in aerodynamic drag that would be prohibitive for flight,” Gripp said. “For Ingenuity’s rotor we do not expect to encounter this phenomenon until the Mach number is even higher, but this has never been confirmed in testing on Earth.” The Ingenuity team will look for some potential issues. One is that with high rpm, wind and helicopter movements, the rotor can hit the blades in the atmosphere at about 0.8 Mach, or up to 80% of the speed of sound. (Due to the very low atmospheric density of the Red Planet, the speed of sound on Mars is only three-quarters that on Earth.)
Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook. Gripp said engineers will also watch for potential resonance that could cause the helicopter to vibrate at particular frequencies, which “could damage hardware and cause a drop in sensor readings required by the flight control system.” Other considerations would include the greater power required from the electrical system and the higher loads required by the rotor system. Gripp said, “This all adds up to a significant challenge, but by approaching this issue slowly and systematically, we hope to fully calibrate the system at high rotor speeds and see Ingenuity flying in the coming months.” enable filling.” “Stay tuned for updates.”
News Highlight Space
- Title: Flying to Mars Gets Harder as Ingenuity Helicopter Prepares for Fourteenth Leap
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