Author Topic: Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone  (Read 17393 times)

Offline ccdengr

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Re: Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #80 on: 08/29/2018 03:31 am »
How exactly do they plan to deploy this thing?
My understanding is that it's attached to the belly pan and dropped off early in the mission (not by the arm) and the rover just drives away.

Offline jbenton

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Re: Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #81 on: 08/29/2018 03:35 am »
How exactly do they plan to deploy this thing?
My understanding is that it's attached to the belly pan and dropped off early in the mission (not by the arm) and the rover just drives away.

Under-slung, not piggyback; that makes sense. Pardon my ignorance of rover anatomy, but, what's a belly pan, and what would it be doing without the 'copter?

Offline e of pi

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Re: Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #82 on: 08/29/2018 03:49 am »
Under-slung, not piggyback; that makes sense. Pardon my ignorance of rover anatomy, but, what's a belly pan, and what would it be doing without the 'copter?
A belly-pan is a thin sheet of metal or other material on the bottom of a car body, aimed to provide maybe a little structural strength, but mostly to seal the bottom of the car body against road debris and the air stream. It looks like the Curiosity/Mars 2020 design has something similar:


https://mars.nasa.gov/resources/4652/belly-check-for-curiosity/

As its purpose is to just be a mostly unbroken sheet of metal, I guess it makes sense as a convenient place to temporarily mount the helicopter until deployment.

Offline jbenton

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Re: Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #83 on: 08/30/2018 04:46 pm »
Under-slung, not piggyback; that makes sense. Pardon my ignorance of rover anatomy, but, what's a belly pan, and what would it be doing without the 'copter?
A belly-pan is a thin sheet of metal or other material on the bottom of a car body, aimed to provide maybe a little structural strength, but mostly to seal the bottom of the car body against road debris and the air stream. It looks like the Curiosity/Mars 2020 design has something similar:

...

As its purpose is to just be a mostly unbroken sheet of metal, I guess it makes sense as a convenient place to temporarily mount the helicopter until deployment.

cross-thread post:

I saw this and decided to ask about the ground-clearance of the rover, but I felt it was more proper to ask on the rover's own thread:

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38208.msg1851628#msg1851628

I put this here in the 'copter thread in case anyone who reads through it has the same question.

Offline jbenton

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Re: Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #84 on: 09/02/2018 10:07 pm »
How exactly do they plan to deploy this thing?
My understanding is that it's attached to the belly pan and dropped off early in the mission (not by the arm) and the rover just drives away.

So I just came across this:

https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/mission/rover/body/

Quote
Bottom and sides are the frame of the chassis; top is the rover equipment deck (its "back"); bottom is the belly pan. Note that for new Sampling and Caching interior workspace, the belly pan in that front end of the rover (about first 1 1/2 feet from front end) is dropped soon after the rover lands. This exposes the workspace to Martian atmosphere and makes more room for sample handling operations within that workspace.

So is the 'copter mounted inside the rover and deployed by the jettisoning of fore-section of the belly-pan?
Or is the 'copter mounted somewhere else on the outside of the pan and deployed in some other way?

Is Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars suite really so large that deleting it provides so much room as to make way for the sample-catching mechanism and a tech demonstrator?

Offline hop

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Re: Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #85 on: 09/03/2018 10:00 pm »
Is Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars suite really so large that deleting it provides so much room as to make way for the sample-catching mechanism and a tech demonstrator?
SAM is pretty big: https://mars.nasa.gov/resources/3447/lifting-sam-instrument-for-installation-into-mars-rover/

For those who have it, Figure 4.3 in Emily Lakdawalla's book gives a great labeled view of interior components with the belly pan removed. The unlabeled rover image is probably on a NASA site somewhere but I didn't find it in a quick google.

Offline AlexA

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Re: Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #86 on: 09/04/2018 11:06 am »
In this Nasa/JPL CG image of the 2020 rover, the helicopter is attached to the side of the rover;


(via https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/snt?subselect=Mission%3AMars+2020+Rover%3A)

I also attach edited version with the helicopter circled in red.
« Last Edit: 09/04/2018 01:10 pm by AlexA »

Offline AlexA

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Re: Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #87 on: 09/10/2018 11:02 am »
NASA Assembles Rotorcraft Flight Unit For Mars 2020 Rover Mission
Aviation Week & Space Technology Sep 03, 2018

This link will probably only work if you're a subscriber:
http://awin.aviationweek.com/ArticlesStory.aspx?id=fed93a4c-6c42-4f0c-bff5-42544b69f4a2

Excerpt (re operations at Mars):
Quote
NASA plans a 30-day flight-test campaign after release from the rover’s belly pan over a relatively benign landing zone. The first flight is planned to include a short hover, for around 30 sec. at 10 ft., while later flights gradually will see the flight duration extended to 90 sec. and altitudes up to 10 m. “We are restricting forward flight to 3 m per sec. because that suits the current navigation system capability,” Balaram says. “So we are looking at about a 300-m flight based on a projected flight time of up to 90 sec. The vehicle itself in aerodynamic terms could fly up to 10 m per sec., so in the same time it could fly up to 1 km if needed,” he adds.

Offline vjkane

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Re: Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #88 on: 03/23/2019 01:38 pm »
An article in the Smithsonian's Air & Space magazine on the helicopter that will accompany the 2020 rover:

https://www.airspacemag.com/space/helicopter-dreams-of-mars-180971739/

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #89 on: 03/23/2019 07:42 pm »
Here is fiso podcast on the helicopter.
http://fiso.spiritastro.net/archivelist.htm
20March 19.

Good engineering overview, quite a complex little machines with lot cramped into it.
The airspacemag covered most info, few extra from podcast.
Motors use 250W with 500W max on tap, lot of power from very small battery.
Redundant flight computers plus high performance navigation snap dragon processor for image processing. If navigation processor fails, flight computers will land drone, but no means of avoiding rocks.
As per article no mention of what happens after end of demonstration flights. Assuming its still flying I'd guess they will use it to map surrounding terrain for rover.



« Last Edit: 03/23/2019 08:09 pm by TrevorMonty »

Offline Star One

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Re: Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #90 on: 03/28/2019 10:09 pm »
NASA's Mars Helicopter Completes Flight Tests

Since the Wright brothers first took to the skies of Kill Devil Hill, North Carolina, Dec. 17, 1903, first flights have been important milestones in the life of any vehicle designed for air travel. After all, it's one thing to design an aircraft and make it fly on paper - or computer. It is quite another to put all the pieces together and watch them get off the ground.

In late January 2019, all the pieces making up the flight model (actual vehicle going to the Red Planet) of NASA's Mars Helicopter were put to the test.

Weighing in at no more than 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms), the helicopter is a technology demonstration project currently going through the rigorous verification process certifying it for Mars.

The majority of the testing the flight model is going through had to do with demonstrating how it can operate on Mars, including how it performs at Mars-like temperatures. Can the helicopter survive - and function - in cold temperatures, including nights with temperatures as low as minus 130 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 90 degrees Celsius)?

All this testing is geared towards February 2021, when the helicopter will reach the surface of the Red Planet, firmly nestled under the belly of the Mars 2020 rover. A few months later, it will be deployed and test flights (up to 90 seconds long) will begin - the first from the surface of another world.

"Gearing up for that first flight on Mars, we have logged over 75 minutes of flying time with an engineering model, which was a close approximation of our helicopter," said MiMi Aung, project manager for the Mars Helicopter at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "But this recent test of the flight model was the real deal. This is our helicopter bound for Mars. We needed to see that it worked as advertised."

While flying helicopters is commonplace here on Earth, flying hundreds of millions of miles (kilometers) away in the thin Martian atmosphere is something else entirely. And creating the right conditions for testing here on Earth presents its own set of challenges.

"The Martian atmosphere is only about one percent the density of Earth's," said Aung. "Our test flights could have similar atmospheric density here on Earth - if you put your airfield 100,000 feet (30,480 meters) up. So you can't go somewhere and find that. You have to make it."

Aung and her Mars Helicopter team did just that in JPL's Space Simulator, a 25-foot-wide (7.62-meter-wide) vacuum chamber. First, the team created a vacuum that sucks out all the nitrogen, oxygen and other gases from the air inside the mammoth cylinder. In their place the team injected carbon dioxide, the chief ingredient of Mars' atmosphere.

"Getting our helicopter into an extremely thin atmosphere is only part of the challenge," said Teddy Tzanetos, test conductor for the Mars Helicopter at JPL. "To truly simulate flying on Mars we have to take away two-thirds of Earth's gravity, because Mars' gravity is that much weaker."

The team accomplished this with a gravity offload system - a motorized lanyard attached to the top of the helicopter to provide an uninterrupted tug equivalent to two-thirds of Earth's gravity. While the team was understandably concerned with how the helicopter would fare on its first flight, they were equally concerned with how the gravity offload system would perform.

"The gravity offload system performed perfectly, just like our helicopter," said Tzanetos. "We only required a 2-inch (5-centimeter) hover to obtain all the data sets needed to confirm that our Mars helicopter flies autonomously as designed in a thin Mars-like atmosphere; there was no need to go higher. It was a heck of a first flight."

The Mars Helicopter's first flight was followed up by a second in the vacuum chamber the following day. Logging a grand total of one minute of flight time at an altitude of 2 inches (5 centimeters), more than 1,500 individual pieces of carbon fiber, flight-grade aluminum, silicon, copper, foil and foam have proven that they can work together as a cohesive unit.

"The next time we fly, we fly on Mars," said Aung. "Watching our helicopter go through its paces in the chamber, I couldn't help but think about the historic vehicles that have been in there in the past. The chamber hosted missions from the Ranger Moon probes to the Voyagers to Cassini, and every Mars rover ever flown. To see our helicopter in there reminded me we are on our way to making a little chunk of space history as well."

The Mars Helicopter project at JPL in Pasadena, California, manages the helicopter development for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

The Mars Helicopter will launch as a technology demonstrator with the Mars 2020 rover on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in July 2020 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. It is expected to reach Mars in February 2021.

The 2020 rover will conduct geological assessments of its landing site on Mars, determine the habitability of the environment, search for signs of ancient Martian life, and assess natural resources and hazards for future human explorers. Scientists will use the instruments aboard the rover to identify and collect samples of rock and soil, encase them in sealed tubes, and leave them on the planet's surface for potential return to Earth on a future Mars mission.

The Mars 2020 project at JPL in Pasadena, California, manages rover development for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. NASA's Launch Services Program, based at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for launch management.

For more information about NASA's Mars missions, go to:

https://www.nasa.gov/mars


Offline theinternetftw

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Re: Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #91 on: 03/29/2019 12:58 am »
Here is fiso podcast on the helicopter.
http://fiso.spiritastro.net/archivelist.htm
20March 19.

Attached are the videos from the telecon presentation.

Offline theinternetftw

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Re: Mars 2020 Helicopter Drone
« Reply #92 on: 03/29/2019 04:48 pm »
And to complete the set, here's a video of the flight model test mentioned in the above press release.


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