What will the Mars helicopter use for magnetic heading?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by IK04, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. IK04

    IK04 Cleared for Takeoff

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    The next Mars mission will include a coaxial helicopter That will make 90 second flights in the Martian atmosphere.



    Is there a magnetosphere on Mars, like on Earth? Will a magnetometer work?

    It uses surface recognition for navigation in a small area, but how does it orient itself with the planet?

    Any space scientists out there have a clue?
     
  2. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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    This is pretty cool!! Mars no longer has a magnetosphere I think. There was one which allowed more of an atmosphere- a long time ago. I wonder if it is going to use the accelerometer combined with the ground visual analysis and report back to rover and the rover essentially tells it where it is.
    Also does it really matter if it knows where it is? I don’t think it is collecting anything physical.
    I was surprised by only 90 second flight time
    Though.
     
  3. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Does it actually matter?

    Is there like a restaurant or a Sonic drive in that they’re trying to use Waze to find or something? :)

    Where do you want to go on Mars that you need to navigate to?
     
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  4. deyoung

    deyoung Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Back to your charging station? :)
     
  5. flyer770

    flyer770 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    In which case it may be going back to an ADF type system, with the base having a homing beacon.
     
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  6. david.h

    david.h Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I think this one is mostly a proof of concept vehicle, so it doesn't really matter where it goes. However, some simple celestial inputs (maybe a 360° camera during the night?) should be able to orient the vehicle in a matter of minutes relative to the planet surface.
     
  7. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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    Solar tracker and inertial navigation augmented by visual odometry.
     
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  8. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Hmm. Yeah. I guess 90 seconds and then “couldn’t recharge” would be embarrassing. ;)
     
  9. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    Mapping, marking points of interest for further study. As mentioned earlier, return to a charging station. @Stan Cooper mentioned a couple of ways it could be done.
     
  10. IK04

    IK04 Cleared for Takeoff

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    That's how I understood it...
     
  11. david.h

    david.h Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sounds like the same concept, I was just guessing without research. Thanks!
     
  12. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    Well duh! How else would it be done?

    :happydance:
     
  13. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    There is no charging station. It uses solar cells to charge all day long for one short flight.
     
  14. Seanaldinho

    Seanaldinho Pattern Altitude

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    Just gotta check which side of the rocks the moss is growing on.
     
  15. IK04

    IK04 Cleared for Takeoff

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    It could be done with no guidance at all. Just a ballistic "go up" and "come down" machine...
     
  16. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    GPS, obviously! (But possibly an INS, which could be awesomely accurate for short flights relative to the takeoff area.)
     
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  17. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    For a 90-second flight, how lost can it get?

    One way would be to provide some means of keeping track of its relative bearing and distance to the mothership. Something like an ADF/NDB combined with DME ought to work.
     
  18. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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    So, they're going to put a GPS satellite constellation in orbit around Mars so a helicopter can navigate? That sounds impractical and ridiculously expensive to me.
     
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  19. pburger

    pburger Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Details, details...
     
  20. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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    JPL Mars Helicopter Scout (Wikimili.com)

     
  21. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Beats having to meet the ADBS requirements....
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
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  22. Caramon13

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    So, 2000 ft per day, 90 second flight time, that's 15 mph at about 22 fps. Then it's out of battery power for 24 hours? That's horrible.
     
  23. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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    We definitely need to do something about current battery energy density limitations. There are lots of big tech enterprises working on that problem.
     
  24. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    The atmosphere there isn’t particularly kind to fling wings, I assume.

    Just wait until you see how many days a Martian “year” the thing is grounded for weather. :)
     
  25. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    It figures that Mars will get Amazon drone delivery before the area where I live. At least I have a runway in my back yard.
     
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  26. Seanaldinho

    Seanaldinho Pattern Altitude

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    Batteries are heavy and weight is king when it comes to getting things out into space. I also imagine the amount of data being gathered will be massive and the NASA folks will want to be able to digest it all before flying off too far in case they want to investigate something.

    Is there a projected length of time this helicopter will be functioning?

    If it flies every day for a year, its a significant distance.
     
  27. TipTanks

    TipTanks Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Very Interesting. They should check their facts on the highest an airplane has flown though. 85k? I think not.
     
  28. TipTanks

    TipTanks Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Also... MAN I will be stoked when they go to Mars. How cool will that be.
     
  29. Datadriver

    Datadriver Line Up and Wait

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    U-2: 70,000
    SR-71: 85,000

    rumors that both can go higher. What aircraft can go higher - not classified?
     
  30. TipTanks

    TipTanks Pre-takeoff checklist

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  31. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Regarding the short flight times...Mars doesnt have much of an atmosphere so the amount of work needed to make the flights is going to be a lot more than on Earth. Short flight times should be expected.
     
  32. david.h

    david.h Pre-takeoff checklist

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    And necessarily small solar cell to recharge (you have to lift it with you) and also data send/receive for each mission.
     
  33. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    'twas a joke. The INS would, however, work.
     
  34. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Cleared for Takeoff

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    24:37.
     
  35. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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    The absolute altitude record for an airbreathing jet (the X-15 was rocket powered) was set on August 31, 1977 by Aleksandr Fedotov in a MiG Ye-266 (123,520 ft.).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan-Gurevich_MiG-25

     
  36. flhrci

    flhrci En-Route

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    Government.
     
  37. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I am just guessing that since there is gravity then there would be a magnetic north and south pole on Mars.
     
  38. EdFred

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    That's not exactly how that works.

    The magnetic field on Earths caused by the molten iron core. Mars' core, as best we can tell, has solidified, so no magnetic field.
     
  39. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The quote in post #20 calls Mars' magnetic field "inconsistent."
     
  40. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The magnetic fields of planets are not related to gravity.