The Perseverance Spacecraft picks up driving sounds on Mars

The Perseverance Spacecraft picks up driving sounds on Mars

NASA’s Mars Perseverance spacecraft captured this image using its Navcam. The camera is located high on the rover’s mast and assists in driving. This image was obtained on March 7, 2021 (Sol 16). Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

NASA’s most recent probe has recorded the sound of itself smashing the surface of the Red Planet, adding a whole new dimension to Mars exploration.

As the Perseverance Chariot began to make tracks on the surface of Mars, its first-class sensor microphone recorded: the booms, sounds and rattles of the robot’s six wheels as it rolled over the Martian terrain.

“A lot of people, when they see the pictures, don’t appreciate that the wheels are metal,” said Vandy Verma, chief engineer and rover driver at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “When you drive with these wheels on the rocks, it’s actually quite loud.”

More than 16 minutes of sound were captured from the 90-foot (27.3 m) Perseverance engine on March 7 through the Perseverance Entry-Descent-Landing (EDL) microphone, which is still running in the rover after its historic February 18 landing. A ready-made microphone was added to the rover to help take the crowd on the flight during the landing, but the expedition members were keen to hear voices from the roof as well.

“If I heard these sounds driving my car, I’d stop my car and ask to tow it,” said Dave Gruel, chief engineer of the March 2020 camera and microphone subsystem at March 2020. “But if you take a minute to think about what you’re hearing and where it was recorded, that makes perfect sense.”

Two versions of the audio for the same drive were released to the public on March 17. The first version features more than 16 minutes of unfiltered rover sounds for the rover traveling Jezero Crater. In it, the noise generated by the interaction of the tenacity drive system (its wheels and suspension) with the surface can be heard, along with a high-pitched scratch noise. The engineering team at Perseverance is continuing to evaluate the source of the scratching noise, which could be either electromagnetic interference from one of the rover’s electronics boxes or interactions between the navigation system and the Martian surface. The EDL microphone was not intended for surface operations and had limited testing in this configuration prior to launch.

The second edition is a shorter synthesis of sounds than the longer initial recording of a drive. For this 90-second version, NASA engineers combined three parts of the initial audio file (Sections 0: 20-0: 45, 6: 40-7: 10, and 14: 30-15: 00), processed and edited them into Filter out some noise.

This first sound of a drive across the surface of Mars joins an ever-growing playlist of Mars sounds broadcasted to Earth from perseverance. The second microphone, part of the rover’s SuperCam instrument, previously captured the sighing of the Martian wind and the rapid tickling sound of laser rocks blasting into the device to reveal details of its structure and composition. Information like this will help scientists as they search Jezero Crater for signs of ancient microscopic life, and take samples of rocks and sediments to bring them back to Earth on future expeditions.

The sounds of the SuperCam were part of a series of systems scans the rover went through, ranging from disassembling Perseverance’s massive robotic arm to making its first observations of the weather with the Mars Analyzer for Environmental Dynamics.

The rover is also looking for a suitable airport for the Ingenuity Mars helicopter to attempt its first flight tests. Now that the right spot is found, the perseverance and creativity teams are laying out plans for the rover to deploy the helicopter, which will have 30 days on Mars, or Mars (31 Earth days), to complete up to five test flights.

Then the search for ancient life will begin in earnest, with the perseverance to explore terrain previously thought to be covered in water. between the RoverThe experience will be filled with the sights and sounds of 19 cameras and their microphones. For Verma, who helped “drive” the last four NASA vehicles on Mars, mapping their paths and sending instructions so that they can drive a day across uncharted terrain, the sound is more than just cool.

She said, “The differences between Earth and Mars – we have a visual sense.” “But sound is a very different dimension: to see the differences between Earth and Mars, and to experience that environment closely.”

Mars 2020 Perseverance rover to capture sounds from the Red Planet

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