Mars Helicopter Taking a Break Due to Communications Issue

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The Mars helicopter Ingenuity can be taking a break for a couple of days whereas NASA engineers work out the small print of a communications concern between the helicopter and its rover accomplice Perseverance.

After Ingenuity’s 17th flight on Sunday, December 5, there was a disruption within the radio hyperlink between the helicopter and the rover. The problem occurred throughout Ingenuity’s touchdown section, which meant the crew didn’t know if the helicopter landed safely and so they weren’t in a position to get photographs from the flight.

Nonetheless, fifteen minutes later the rover did obtain affirmation that the helicopter was wholesome. NASA engineers analyzed the telemetry information accessible and located that the issue was with the radio hyperlink between the 2 because of points with line of sight between them. The flight had been deliberate with the idea Perseverance could be in a selected location and orientation, however the plans for the rover modified so it was situated elsewhere. It was this distinction in distance between the 2 which prompted the interruption in radio communications.

In an interview, a member of the Ingenuity crew confirmed that there had been a problem, however it shouldn’t be insurmountable. “Finally, a technique or one other, we’ll get a lot better communications, so it’s only a query of when are we going to attempt once more,” Teddy Tzanetos, Ingenuity program lead, stated in an interview with UPI. “Principally we now have found the boundaries of Ingenuity’s off-the-shelf 900-megahertz radio hyperlink.”

In an replace on the official Ingenuity weblog posted this week, Tzanetos stated that extra data from Ingenuity had been acquired by Perseverance. “The restricted information that was acquired signifies energy aboard the rotorcraft is great, which suggests it’s in an upright stance, permitting its photo voltaic array to effectively energy its six lithium-ion batteries,” he wrote. “Nonetheless, the identical line-of-sight points the crew believes impeded communications on the finish of Flight 17 nonetheless prevented the vast majority of information packets (together with imagery from the flight) to be relayed again to the rover – after which to Earth.”

The crew is now ready for a chance to switch this information from the earlier flight, which it thinks will occur within the subsequent few days.

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