Watch and Hearken to NASA’s Ingenuity Drone Fly Over the Martian Floor

NASA has shared a video that not solely reveals the Ingenuity drone flying above Mars but additionally accommodates audio, permitting all to listen to the sounds of the drone zipping by way of the air. It’s the first time a spacecraft on one other planet has recorded sounds from one other spacecraft close by.

As famous by NASA, “on April 30, 2021, NASA’s Perseverance rover made historical past as the primary spacecraft to file sounds from one other spacecraft on one other planet.” The historic achievement got here throughout Ingenuity’s fourth flight, and the microphone included on the SuperCam laser instrument aboard the Mars Perseverance rover captured the sound of the drone’s rotors by way of the muffled wind.

“The laser zaps rocks from a distance, learning their vapor with a spectrometer to disclose their chemical composition,” NASA explains in a press launch. “The instrument’s microphone information the sounds of these laser strikes, which give info on the bodily properties of the targets, resembling their relative hardness. The microphone may file ambient noise, just like the Martian wind.”

Ingenuity captured the under colour photograph through the flight, which is named “Airfield B” and will likely be its new touchdown web site. The helicopter will search to set down there on its fifth flight try.


As a result of the Perseverance was parked 262 toes from the Ingenuity’s takeoff and touchdown location, NASA wasn’t positive if the microphone would have the ability to decide up any sound from the flight. Within the photograph under which was captured by one of many hazard cameras on the Perseverance rover, you’ll be able to see the Ingenuity within the distance.


“Even throughout flight, when the helicopter’s blades spin at 2,537 rpm, the sound is tremendously muffled by the skinny Martian environment,” NASA continues. “It’s additional obscured by Martian wind gusts through the preliminary moments of the flight. Pay attention intently, although, and the helicopter’s hum may be heard faintly above the sound of these winds.”

Scientists made the audio, which is recorded in mono, simpler to listen to by isolating the 84-hertz helicopter blade sound, lowering the frequencies under 80 hertz and above 90 hertz, and growing the amount of the remaining sign.

“Some frequencies had been clipped to carry out the helicopter’s hum, which is loudest when the helicopter passes by way of the sector of view of the digicam,” the group provides.

The gif under reveals the Ingenuity helicopter’s motion as seen from its down-facing navigation digicam. The digicam, which tracks floor options under the helicopter, takes pictures at a charge at which the helicopter’s blades seem frozen in place, regardless of making 21 full rotations in-between every picture. In flight, the blades spin at 2,537 rpm. The pictures are aligned completely utilizing Ingenuity’s on-board place monitoring system highlighting the steadiness and accuracy of the navigation algorithm.


“That is an instance of how the totally different payload instrument suites complement one another, leading to info synergy,” stated Soren Madsen, Perseverance payload improvement supervisor at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. JPL constructed Perseverance in addition to Ingenuity and operates each of them. “On this specific case, the microphone and video allow us to observe the helicopter as if we’re there, and extra info, such because the Doppler shift, confirms particulars of the flight path.”

NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover acquired this picture of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter (higher proper) utilizing its left Mastcam-Z digicam. Mastcam-Z is a pair of cameras positioned excessive on the rovers mast. That is one nonetheless body from a sequence captured by the digicam whereas taking video. This picture was acquired on Apr. 30, 2021 (Sol 69) on the Native Imply Photo voltaic Time of 12:33:27. | Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

The Perseverance and Ingenuity are making historical past. Along with capturing the primary sounds of a spacecraft from one other spacecraft, the Ingenuity can also be the primary helicopter drone to make a powered, managed flight on one other planet, throughout which it sent back its first photo.

Picture credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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