After recording the sound of Mars’ atmosphere, Supercam, the Toulouse device of NASA’s Perseverance Rover, was recorded for the first time on the Red Planet, the sound of an Ingenuity helicopter during a flight over the Genero Crater. Extra-Martian Sound!
The first was May.
The Perseverance Rover’s super microphone from Toulouse recorded an extra-Martian sound. Drone Ingenuity, during its 4th flight on the Jezero Crater.
This space “mosquito” therefore disturbs the calm of Mars for the first time … a small mechanical noise in the distance!
The innate generates a “mile” in the atmosphere of Mars
When it flew 80 meters from the rover, the small helicopter rose 5 meters above the ground before traveling 133 meters. It then returned to where it was unloaded. Supercam’s scientific microphone developed by ISAE-SUPAERO in Toulouse recorded the sound emitted by the rotation of the blade of the Martian drone during its flight.
This sound has a characteristic frequency of 84 Hz. This is equivalent to the piano’s low “E” or man’s bass voice.
Scientists are surprised by the acoustic performance
This small noise, captured more than 55 million kilometers from Earth, is a major technological achievement. Toulouse scientists who analyze and dissect them are also very proud of the performance of the Supercam microphone.
“The tests conducted in a Martian environment simulator to design this device and our principles of sound propagation told us that the microphone would have great difficulty picking up the sounds of the helicopter. We were lucky enough to register the helicopter at such a distance We are very satisfied to receive this recording which is proving to be a gold mine for our understanding of the Martian environment.
This is a big surprise for the entire scientific team! Indeed, the atmosphere of Mars, very sparse, strongly reflects the transmission of sounds.
Toulouse microphone penetrates the mystery of Martian sounds
Developed jointly by ISAE-SUPAERO and coordinated by CNES, a consortium of laboratories from CNRS and its partners, the SuperCam microphone is derived from a general public model, adapted to withstand Martian environments.
It pursues 3 scientific and technical objectives of the Mars 2020 mission:
- Study of the sound associated with laser effects on the rocks of Mars to better understand their mechanical properties.
- Improving knowledge of atmospheric events (wind turbulence, dust eddy, wind interaction with rover and now with helicopter).
- Understanding of the sound signature of various movements of the rover (robotics and mast operations, cabing on normal or uneven ground, monitoring of pumps, etc.).
The microphone was first switched on in March, a few hours after Perseverance landed. He then recorded the first Martian sounds to come from disturbance in the atmosphere. It is used daily for chemical analysis of Mars with laser ablation of rocks.