May 19, 2022

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Communication with the Ingenuity helicopter has been cut off

Communication with the Ingenuity helicopter has been cut off

Image of the article titled NASA loses contact with ingenious helicopter over Mars

picture: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University

helicopter last week credulity NASA was able to reconnect with the Perseverance spacecraft after a brief communications break. NASA blamed the arrival of the Martian winter and made some adjustments. But this Thursday, the intrepid helicopter did not turn up for its appointment with the rover of First time Since arriving on the planet in February 2021.

The mission team believes Ingenuity has entered low-power mode after its lithium-ion batteries suffered severe power loss. This loss is almost due to the Martian winter, which brings more airborne dust and lower temperatures. Dust causes the helicopter’s solar panels to receive less light.

The Perseverance Rover is on a mission to find traces of ancient microbial life on Mars. Meanwhile, the Ingenuity became the first plane to take off from another planet on April 19. The two bots have their own communication channel. Small antennas on the helicopter allow it to communicate with the Perseverance and thus with Earth through NASA’s Deep Space Network.

Creativity has an alarm that wakes it up to communicate with persistence from time to time, but on May 3 the helicopter did not report as usual. The reason was a loss of power during the night which caused him to reset the clock on the plane which is specifically responsible for scheduling his appointments with perseverance. The sun recharged the helicopter’s batteries, but its internal systems were still out of sync.Ron with those of the Rover. When creativity sent her a signal, persistence wasn’t listening.

Two days later, the mission controller was able to fix the communication problem by having Perseverance spend an entire day listening for a signal from the helicopter. The connection was finally made on May 5 at 11:45 local time on Mars. Although the call was brief, it did help inform the mission technicians that the battery was working and the plates were recharging.

Image of the article titled NASA loses contact with ingenious helicopter over Mars

picture: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University

Creativity is not quite ready to withstand the harsh Martian winter. Its rotor is designed to only last 30 days, but the small, 19-inch, 4-pound helicopter has exceeded all expectations and recently received a mission extension, helping the tenacious explore the surrounding terrain. His new job was to fly over Mars to recommend perseverance through the rough terrain.

“We knew from the start that the Martian winter would bring new challenges to creativity, especially cold days and frequent dust storms,” explain Teddy Texanitos, JPL Creative Team Leader. “Every new flight and every new kilometer after the original 30 days pushes the helicopter over its limits.”

Currently, the team has come up with a plan to help the helicopter survive the coming winter. The plan is to change the limits in which the helicopter activates its heating system in relation to the exhaustion of its batteries. Now, instead of draining your battery in an effort to keep warm, Ingenuity shuts off cold to save battery life. This allows you to save energy during the day to stay warm at night.

“Our priority now is to maintain communication with perseverance in the coming days, but we are aware that there are many challenges ahead.” Zanitos Comments. “We are confident that we will be able to build up enough strength to return to baseline and continue our mission in the coming weeks.”

Even if the plan now fails and Ingenuity never wakes up again, the small helicopter was able to make 28 flights when its technicians expected only 5.

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