Author Topic: NASA to decide soon whether flying drone will launch with Mars 2020 rover  (Read 497 times)

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8957
  • UK
  • Liked: 1529
  • Likes Given: 168
Really hope this novel piece of equipment does accompany the rover to Mars.

Quote
Testing of a lightweight robotic helicopter designed to fly in the alien atmosphere of Mars has produced encouraging results in recent months, and NASA officials expect to decide soon whether the aerial drone will accompany the agency’s next rover to the red planet set for liftoff in 2020.

Quote
Jim Watzin, director of NASA’s robotic Mars exploration program at the agency’s headquarters, said last month that an engineering model of the helicopter has completed 86 minutes of flying time in a test chamber configured to simulate the Martian atmosphere.

“The system has been built, it’s been ground tested, and then we put it into a chamber that was backfilled at Mars atmosphere (conditions),” Watzin said Feb. 20 in a presentation to the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group, a panel of scientists that assists NASA in planning Mars missions. “Some parts were removed from the helicopter to compensate for the 1g (gravity) field to get the proper relationship of mass and acceleration at Mars, and we did controlled takeoffs, slewing, translations, hovers and controlled landings in the chamber. We’ve done that multiple times.”

https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/03/15/nasa-to-decide-soon-whether-flying-drone-will-launch-with-mars-2020-rover/

Offline speedevil

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1762
  • Fife
  • Liked: 838
  • Likes Given: 947
Also a great candidate to just dump large numbers of with simple parachutes, as it is its own landing system.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32048
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 10688
  • Likes Given: 318
Also a great candidate to just dump large numbers of with simple parachutes, as it is its own landing system.

no, parachute don't work for landings.
« Last Edit: 03/16/2018 08:01 PM by Jim »

Offline speedevil

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1762
  • Fife
  • Liked: 838
  • Likes Given: 947
Also a great candidate to just dump large numbers of with simple parachutes, as it is its own landing system.

no, parachute don't work for landings.

Why doesn't a parachute work?
Aeroshell, parachute, ditch the aeroshell, wait till steady state speed, pop out the rotors, land.

It of course does not work at all for something the size of Mars 2020.
However, for a kilogram helicopter, that is already designed to fly in the martian atmosphere, taking most of the velocity off with the parachute would seem quite adequate.
« Last Edit: 03/16/2018 08:04 PM by speedevil »

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32048
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 10688
  • Likes Given: 318
Also a great candidate to just dump large numbers of with simple parachutes, as it is its own landing system.

no, parachute don't work for landings.

Why doesn't a parachute work?
Aeroshell, parachute, ditch the aeroshell, wait till steady state speed, pop out the rotors, land.

yeah right.

Offline TrevorMonty

I hope drone is selected even if it is high risk. If successful it could dramatically increase amount ground rover can travel in a day.

Could even be useful with landers, survey area around lander then reposition lander to new high interest area. Drone survey would allow pin point landing by lander.

Offline redliox

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1828
  • Arizona USA
  • Liked: 345
  • Likes Given: 59
I hope drone is selected even if it is high risk. If successful it could dramatically increase amount ground rover can travel in a day.

Could even be useful with landers, survey area around lander then reposition lander to new high interest area. Drone survey would allow pin point landing by lander.

It would certainly be useful in scouting and surveying, especially before humans were to land at a site.  And yeah, for a 'dull' stationary mission like InSight or Phoenix it would add useful PR flare and context about the surrounding terrain; akin to Sojourner for Pathfinder but more functional and longer range.

We've been waiting on the decisions for both the landing site and the helicopter for a while.  This drone probably has a 50/50 chance.  Knowing budgets, I will play the pessimist and say it probably will get cut in the end.  However, the enhanced (i.e. zoom) cameras for the 2020 rover had been offered to Curiosity/MSL before but couldn't be added; likewise if the helicopter drone can't fly with 2020 we could see it on either the next probe or with humans.
"Let the trails lead where they may, I will follow."
-Tigatron

Tags: