Author Topic: Ingenuity, Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone  (Read 451373 times)

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Ingenuity, Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #1360 on: 02/14/2024 07:29 pm »
Was there similar political infighting over Perseverance's sample capsules payload (> 2.45 kg), seeing as the MSR mission has much higher technical risk (e.g. costs rising to $8-11 billion)?

The politics over the sample caching in Perseverance are different. The entire point of doing the mission was to cache samples. Early on there was infighting over removing that payload, which raised the question of why do the mission at all? That story has only been partially told.



As I noted, only partially told. Here is the first part. Note that this dates from December 2012. But this is a good place to start in understanding the politics behind the Perseverance rover.


https://www.thespacereview.com/article/2202/1

Online matthewkantar

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Re: Ingenuity, Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #1361 on: 02/14/2024 07:41 pm »
I'd also add to the above (excellent!) discussion some insight from the point of view of mission and spacecraft design:

Yes, Ingenuity was relatively low in cost, relatively low-risk, and relatively a high-reward project. There are those who -rightfully- focus on this, like Berger... but dishonesty starts by omission, especially when leaning on positive facts to gloss over context in order to advance an agenda.

Beyond the high-level risks to the primary mission, the science and the operations... what enabled Ingenuity to be so "revolutionary" in the first place, in terms of cold hardware?

It was *precisely* the robustness and non-low-cost, uncompromising nature of Perseverance that did. Many non-trivial modifications were made to the rover to allow not only for the operation (comms support) but also the power, storage space, deployment mechanism, thermal conditioning, ground clearance, etc, to be available. Of course, there's also the obvious issue of the mass that could have been dedicated to another payload, which might also have been much less invasive to the rover.

All of this implies not just the main mission accommodating the copter, but actually enabling it: by providing the above, it allowed Ingenuity to focus on just being lightweight, simple, COTS and nimble. Were it not for the redundancy and robustness built around the drone through a "boring, uninnovative, traditional" approach, it would never have had the chance of retaining most of its positive sides, or the risk to its mission would have been unacceptable (and probably ended up with it being much less successful, if at all).


So I agree with all this, but let me comment on the "boring, uninnovative, traditional" approach attitude that some people have taken. It may appear to be that to people who like shiny new objects, but what people should be aware of is that there was already a lot of risk and innovation in the rover's science instrument package. The skycrane landing system was already proven, but nobody had ever built such a sophisticated collection system before, and it had to be built to very high standards of cleanliness and reliability. That was not easy, nor was it low risk. So when somebody says "the helicopter was new and risky and is what NASA should be doing," they're probably not aware (and don't care) that there was already a lot of new and risky stuff going on with this mission, and that's one of the reasons why there was aversion to adding yet more risk to the mission. When you're already juggling five glasses and a chainsaw, you are going to object when somebody wants to toss you a tennis ball.

This makes my point. The level of difficulty/risk across the mission was extraordinary. To borrow your metaphor, adding the helicopter was more like juggling the five glasses and a chainsaw in a different colored shirt. So much risk faced with aplomb, but this teeny tiny risk treated as undoable.

Online tbellman

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Re: Ingenuity, Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #1362 on: 02/14/2024 07:45 pm »
It seems to me that a big problem is that there is currently no good way of testing new technology.  Dedicated missions for testing Mars helicopters, aerocapture, et.c, are expensive, so no-one wants to pay for them.  And no-one is, quite understandably, fond of putting tech-demos on their billion-dollar, once-a-decade (or even more seldom) science missions.  And as long as we don't test new technology, we won't get the cost-lowering and otherwise enabling innovations.  Vicious circle. :(

I'm hoping that the many companies working on lowering launch costs will be the start of lowering total mission costs, so we can get more and faster technology development for deep-space science as well.  (This is a multi-stage process I'm hoping for.  Low launch costs should increase general space activities, getting more people and organizations to learn how to build stuff for space, and then innovate to bring down costs for the in-space stuff as well.  Even if it's mostly for the less demanding LEO environment, I think that increased general knowledge will at least help with the more demanding stuff as well.)

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Ingenuity, Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #1363 on: 02/14/2024 07:52 pm »
It seems to me that a big problem is that there is currently no good way of testing new technology. 

That's not true at all. Look up the Space Technology Mission Directorate's portfolio, or the Planetary Science Division's R&D budget.

https://www.nasa.gov/space-technology-mission-directorate/

The problem is that there is lots of technology to develop and test, but there is a limited amount of funding to do so. The challenge is primarily one of prioritization, figuring out what to fund and how and when. One tech demo doesn't tell you anything about the larger R&D portfolio.
« Last Edit: 02/15/2024 12:24 am by Blackstar »

Offline cohberg

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Re: Ingenuity, Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #1364 on: 02/16/2024 05:05 am »
Downlinked images show that one blade is almost completely detached

https://twitter.com/landru79/status/1758227562583535980

Online Vettedrmr

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Re: Ingenuity, Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #1365 on: 02/16/2024 10:11 am »
Downlinked images show that one blade is almost completely detached

Totally speculating here: that looks a lot more like a power glitch (when they lost comms) and subsequent unpowered landing than a nav system that got confused over featureless terrain. 
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Offline spacexplorer

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Re: Ingenuity, Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #1366 on: 02/21/2024 05:28 am »
Downlinked images show that one blade is almost completely detached

Totally speculating here: that looks a lot more like a power glitch (when they lost comms) and subsequent unpowered landing than a nav system that got confused over featureless terrain.
What do you mean? One blade loss is a CONSEQUENCE of the accident, non the cause!
If it lost, while flying, a blade rotating at 500 mph, we wouldn't have any image now, we would have just a disrupted copter into a tiny crater.

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Re: Ingenuity, Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #1367 on: 02/21/2024 12:26 pm »
Downlinked images show that one blade is almost completely detached

Totally speculating here: that looks a lot more like a power glitch (when they lost comms) and subsequent unpowered landing than a nav system that got confused over featureless terrain.
What do you mean? One blade loss is a CONSEQUENCE of the accident, non the cause!

We're saying the same thing.  My comment was that it looks like Ginny made an unpowered and uncontrolled descent, breaking off one blade completely, damaging 2 that we have seen (and probably the 3rd) as well.  And this was from an altitude of about 3 feet (where Perseverance lost comms).
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Ingenuity, Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #1368 on: 02/25/2024 11:51 am »
New picture. Blade missing.

Online catdlr

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Re: Ingenuity, Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #1369 on: 02/25/2024 01:00 pm »
New picture. Blade missing.

just to add credit:

https://twitter.com/stim3on/status/1761715831472291996

Quote
Earlier today, the @NASAPersevere rover captured a high-resolution image of the Ingenuity using the SuperCam RMI instrument. One rotor blade is broken off completely, and the others have damaged tips.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP/Simeon Schmauß
« Last Edit: 02/25/2024 01:01 pm by catdlr »
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Online catdlr

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Re: Ingenuity, Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #1370 on: 02/27/2024 07:08 pm »
NASA JPL has created a RedditAMA thread to allow the general public to ask them questions

https://twitter.com/NASAJPL/status/1762528948918067629

Quote
🔴 Live Now!

"How hard is it to fly a helicopter on Mars?"

"Will we fly helicopters on other planets now?" 

Ingenuity scientists and engineers are answering all of your #MarsHelicopter questions in our #RedditAMA.

Join here: https://redd.it/1b1a674
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Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Ingenuity, Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #1371 on: 02/27/2024 07:33 pm »
Downlinked images show that one blade is almost completely detached

Totally speculating here: that looks a lot more like a power glitch (when they lost comms) and subsequent unpowered landing than a nav system that got confused over featureless terrain.
What do you mean? One blade loss is a CONSEQUENCE of the accident, non the cause!

We're saying the same thing.  My comment was that it looks like Ginny made an unpowered and uncontrolled descent, breaking off one blade completely, damaging 2 that we have seen (and probably the 3rd) as well.  And this was from an altitude of about 3 feet (where Perseverance lost comms).

It would be easier to break off a blade and damage the other two if it was under power when it hit.  My guess from the latest images is that the slope plus an lean angle on decent was sufficient to get the tips to hit the sand while it was under power.

Offline DanClemmensen

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Re: Ingenuity, Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #1372 on: 02/27/2024 08:26 pm »
Downlinked images show that one blade is almost completely detached

Totally speculating here: that looks a lot more like a power glitch (when they lost comms) and subsequent unpowered landing than a nav system that got confused over featureless terrain.
What do you mean? One blade loss is a CONSEQUENCE of the accident, non the cause!

We're saying the same thing.  My comment was that it looks like Ginny made an unpowered and uncontrolled descent, breaking off one blade completely, damaging 2 that we have seen (and probably the 3rd) as well.  And this was from an altitude of about 3 feet (where Perseverance lost comms).

It would be easier to break off a blade and damage the other two if it was under power when it hit.  My guess from the latest images is that the slope plus an lean angle on decent was sufficient to get the tips to hit the sand while it was under power.
Well, since we are speculating: The very thin martian atmosphere means the blades must spin at 2400-2700 RPM to stay airborne. A sudden loss of power would cause the RPMs to begin to drop, but they would still be spinning very fast when Ginny hit the ground.

Offline Naito

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Re: Ingenuity, Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #1373 on: 02/27/2024 08:43 pm »
or was the brownout a result of the blade strike?  that would cause a sudden motor load that would probably overwhelm the batteries.
Carl C.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Ingenuity, Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #1374 on: 02/27/2024 09:47 pm »
Downlinked images show that one blade is almost completely detached

Totally speculating here: that looks a lot more like a power glitch (when they lost comms) and subsequent unpowered landing than a nav system that got confused over featureless terrain.
What do you mean? One blade loss is a CONSEQUENCE of the accident, non the cause!

We're saying the same thing.  My comment was that it looks like Ginny made an unpowered and uncontrolled descent, breaking off one blade completely, damaging 2 that we have seen (and probably the 3rd) as well.  And this was from an altitude of about 3 feet (where Perseverance lost comms).

It would be easier to break off a blade and damage the other two if it was under power when it hit.  My guess from the latest images is that the slope plus an lean angle on decent was sufficient to get the tips to hit the sand while it was under power.
Well, since we are speculating: The very thin martian atmosphere means the blades must spin at 2400-2700 RPM to stay airborne. A sudden loss of power would cause the RPMs to begin to drop, but they would still be spinning very fast when Ginny hit the ground.

But they are light, have very low rotational inertia, and are very strong.  It's hard to say how fast they would have to be spinning and if they would have to have power behind them to break.

On Earth, model helicopter blades are often leading-edge weighted, thus giving them very high rotational inertia.  This helps with pitch loads and greatly helps with autorotation.  Neither is a consideration for Ingenuity so I doubt it had blade tip weights.  This makes the experience on Earth with regular R/C helicopters of this size, which "re-kit" (turn themselves back into a kit) on impact not particularly helpful for intuition.  The ones I've seen, including the ones I own that don't have tip weights, don't break blades on impact with the ground very easily.  But, Ingenuity is unique so I'm not sure how much either body of experience applies here.  My intuition tells me they would have had to be running near full speed to break, but I'm far from certain about that.  FYI, many terrestrial R/C helicopters use rotorhead speeds higher than those on Ingenuity.

Maybe the bottom set touched the sand, deflected and collided with the top set.  Counter-rotation would easily wreck the blades if the rotors hit each other.

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Ingenuity, Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #1375 on: 02/27/2024 10:01 pm »
Keep in mind that the carbon fiber blades have experienced way more thermal cycles (including a Mars winter) than they would have been designed for.
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Offline MickQ

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Re: Ingenuity, Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #1376 on: 02/27/2024 10:42 pm »
Exactly.  The machine was intended to survive for 5 flights.  It lasted way, way past its use by date.

That hi res photo seems to show a top blade missing.  I would think a ground strike more likely to knock off a lower blade.

Maybe a material failure, either the blade or its mounting, caused the crash.  It would help if Percy could find the missing blade.

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Ingenuity, Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #1377 on: 02/27/2024 11:15 pm »
This image taken on sol 1052 may show the missing rotor some distance to the left of Ingenuity.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Online catdlr

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Re: Ingenuity, Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #1378 on: 02/28/2024 01:03 am »
This image taken on sol 1052 may show the missing rotor some distance to the left of Ingenuity.


Is it this?
« Last Edit: 02/28/2024 01:05 am by catdlr »
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Offline whitelancer64

Re: Ingenuity, Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #1379 on: 02/28/2024 02:34 pm »
This image taken on sol 1052 may show the missing rotor some distance to the left of Ingenuity.


Is it this?

Yes. I had been hoping NASA would get better pictures of it, and lo and behold, SuperCam got better imagery on sol 1072.

They just released this yesterday:

https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA26238

"The mosaic shows the helicopter at right, standing at an angle near the apex of a sand ripple. About 49 feet (15 meters) to the west of the helicopter's location (just left of center in the image), a large portion of one of the helicopter's rotor blades lies on the surface."

"This mosaic is made up of seven images taken by the RMI, which is part of the rover's SuperCam instrument. At the time these images were taken, the distance between the rover and helicopter was about 1,365 feet (415 meters). Each circular image has a field of view of 26 feet (7.8 meters) at this distance."
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

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