NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter has been making historical past as the primary plane to fly on one other planet, however its companion rover Perseverance has been setting information of its personal as nicely. Perseverance was capable of file audio of the Ingenuity helicopter in motion, making it the primary spacecraft to file the sounds of one other spacecraft on one other planet.
The recording was taken throughout Ingenuity’s fourth take a look at flight on April 30. Within the video, you may hear a low rumble attributable to the wind on Mars because it blows previous the rover. From that rumble comes a hum of the helicopter’s blade whipping via the skinny ambiance. After some time, the sound is distorted because the helicopter travels away from the rover earlier than heading again, which is because of a phenomenon known as the Doppler Impact.
The rover was a good distance away from the helicopter on the time it made the recording — round 262 ft (80 meters) of distance — so it wasn’t sure that the rover’s devices would be capable to choose up any proof of the helicopter. However by utilizing one in every of its two microphones, which is a part of its SuperCam instrument, Perseverance was capable of file the sounds of its companion in flight.
“It is a excellent shock,” mentioned David Mimoun, a professor of planetary science at Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (ISAE-SUPAERO) in Toulouse, France, and science lead for the SuperCam Mars microphone. “We had carried out assessments and simulations that advised us the microphone would barely choose up the sounds of the helicopter, because the Mars ambiance damps the sound propagation strongly. We’ve got been fortunate to register the helicopter at such a distance. This recording can be a gold mine for our understanding of the Martian ambiance.”
The sound was recorded in mono, and it was adjusted to deliver out the sound of the helicopter blades at 84Hz. It was recorded utilizing a microphone in SuperCam which works together with the instrument’s laser, which vaporizes items of rock to investigate their chemical composition. The microphone will help on this course of by giving clues to how far right into a rock the laser has penetrated, for instance.
“That is an instance of how the completely different payload instrument suites complement one another, leading to data synergy,” mentioned Soren Madsen, Perseverance payload improvement supervisor at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “On this specific case, the microphone and video allow us to observe the helicopter as if we’re there, and extra data, such because the Doppler shift, confirms particulars of the flight path.”