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Old 12th May 2018, 05:51 PM   #1
Ranb
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Mars Helicopter Scout

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_M...licopter_Scout
Quote:
NASA's JPL and Caltech have been exploring the potential of sending an airborne scout robot to accompany the Mars 2020 rover. The primary objective of this helicopter is to explore the terrain ahead of the rover to provide overhead images with approximately 10x greater resolution than orbital images, and would display features that may be occluded from the rover cameras.[6] Such scouting by the small helicopter would enable the rover to drive up to three times as far per sol.[7] The helicopter would fly no more than 3 minutes per day and cover a distance of about 600 m (2,000 ft) daily.[8] It would use autonomous control and communicate with the rover directly after landing.

The helicopter would operate for only about 30 days early in the rover's mission, as it is primarily a technology demonstration.
NASA recently decided to include the helicopter in the 2020 rover mission. It has a mass of 1 kg and a 1.1 meter rotor that turns at 3000 rpm. They say helicopters don't fly, but instead are so ugly the Earth repels them or they beat the air into submission.

The speed of sound in the 210K Martian air is about 240 mps. The rotors tips will moving at about 173 mps. Not so fast that they'd encounter flutter from mach buffet, but still a candidate for beating the thin air into submission.

It's only supposed to operate for 30 days as it is a tech demonstrator, but given their good record with rovers, maybe it will last longer if it doesn't crash.

Ranb

Last edited by Ranb; 12th May 2018 at 07:10 PM. Reason: grammer
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Old 13th May 2018, 02:52 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Ranb View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_M...licopter_Scout


NASA recently decided to include the helicopter in the 2020 rover mission. It has a mass of 1 kg and a 1.1 meter rotor that turns at 3000 rpm. They say helicopters don't fly, but instead are so ugly the Earth repels them or they beat the air into submission.

The speed of sound in the 210K Martian air is about 240 mps. The rotors tips will moving at about 173 mps. Not so fast that they'd encounter flutter from mach buffet, but still a candidate for beating the thin air into submission.

It's only supposed to operate for 30 days as it is a tech demonstrator, but given their good record with rovers, maybe it will last longer if it doesn't crash.

Ranb

Shades of AMEE from "Red Planet"!
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Old 13th May 2018, 02:58 AM   #3
Craig B
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Originally Posted by Ranb View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_M...licopter_Scout


NASA recently decided to include the helicopter in the 2020 rover mission. It has a mass of 1 kg and a 1.1 meter rotor that turns at 3000 rpm. They say helicopters don't fly, but instead are so ugly the Earth repels them or they beat the air into submission.

Ranb
I find it remarkable that rotors work effectively in an atmosphere only 1% as dense as Earth's.
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Old 13th May 2018, 05:07 AM   #4
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Brilliant idea Can't quickly spot the journey time there but it's too damn long to wait.

p.s. Amazon already has it booked to deliver small packages.
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Old 13th May 2018, 05:17 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
I find it remarkable that rotors work effectively in an atmosphere only 1% as dense as Earth's.
Well, a Huey had a maximum rotor speed of (I think) 600 rpm, and a Blackhawk runs at 258 rpm, so the 3000 rpm might be a good starting point.
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Old 13th May 2018, 05:40 AM   #6
Ranb
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Shades of AMEE from "Red Planet"!
Nope. Amee was more like the Terminator.
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Old 13th May 2018, 05:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
I find it remarkable that rotors work effectively in an atmosphere only 1% as dense as Earth's.
I suppose that the large area blades on the rotor combined with the high rpm is just what is needed to function in an atmosphere that is like Earth's at 100k feet.
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Old 13th May 2018, 05:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ranb View Post
I suppose that the large area blades on the rotor combined with the high rpm is just what is needed to function in an atmosphere that is like Earth's at 100k feet.
And don't forget the lower gravity helps as well.
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Old 13th May 2018, 05:59 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Shades of AMEE from "Red Planet"!
You lost me. AMEE was a fully autonomous quadrupedal combat droid.

This is a souped up wedding photo drone on autopilot.
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Old 13th May 2018, 06:03 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by WhatRoughBeast View Post
Well, a Huey had a maximum rotor speed of (I think) 600 rpm, and a Blackhawk runs at 258 rpm, so the 3000 rpm might be a good starting point.
the rotors on full sized helicopter are much much longer than the 1.1 of the mars rover so their tip speed will higher at lower rpm

a 5 inch (125mm) drone propeller here on earth could be going as fast as 34,000rpm

Quote:
For a 2300kv motor with a 4s (14.8v), that would be 34,040 RPM.
https://quadstardrones.com/part-1-propellers/
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Old 13th May 2018, 03:08 PM   #11
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If it gets shot down by tiny ground-to-air missiles we could learn something about 'life on Mars'
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Old 13th May 2018, 03:53 PM   #12
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Whilst its mainly intended as only a proof of concept exercise, one of the main design issues for such aircraft is the effectiveness of its power supply in meeting new demands imposed by thin, cold, dusty remote atmospheric environment(s). However, going with solar power as the means for recharging onboard battery cells, avoids testing this vital component of the overall concept (which is disappointing).

The drone proposal for Titan for example, incorporates an onboard nuclear power source for charging its battery.

I guess this aircraft will be capable of demonstrating navigation in the absence of precise (orbiting) GPS references, communications and semi-autonomous remote control systems however.
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Old 13th May 2018, 04:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
If it gets shot down by tiny ground-to-air missiles we could learn something about 'life on Mars'
I was reading the other day that the latest NASA Mars Astrobiology modelling suggests that the maximum Martian biomass supportable by a CO metabolism, in the top 1km of regolith, could be a only mere 0.01 cells/cm3.

This is equivalent to less than 100 blue whales across the entire surface of Mars, which they argued, was 'vanishingly small' when compared with the scale of the Earth’s biomass.

'Twould have to be an extremely light, small and sparse missile defense system, methinks.
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Old 13th May 2018, 04:11 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ranb View Post
Nope. Amee was more like the Terminator.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You lost me. AMEE was a fully autonomous quadrupedal combat droid.

This is a souped up wedding photo drone on autopilot.
AMEE had a twin rotor sentry/scout launched from its back.

https://www.google.com/search?q=amee...8iLOZsllbs7bM:
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Old 11th May 2019, 07:16 PM   #15
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More progress.
https://www.space.com/nasa-mars-heli...ght-tests.html
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The test took place in January in the Space Simulator, a 25-foot-wide (7.62 meters) vacuum chamber at JPL that has helped prep many robotic planetary explorers over the decades. Aung and her colleagues configured the chamber to mimic the wispy, carbon-dioxide-dominated Martian atmosphere, which is just 1 percent as thick as that of Earth.

The team also outfitted the helicopter with a "gravity offload system" — a motorized lanyard that pulled upward on the craft continuously so that it experienced Mars gravity during flight. (The gravitational pull on the Red Planet's surface is just 40 percent as strong as the tug we feel here on Earth.)
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Old 11th May 2019, 07:59 PM   #16
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Some Martian will complain about the noise.
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Old 11th May 2019, 08:53 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Some Martian will complain about the noise.
With an atmosphere that thin, it's doubtful they'd hear it.
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Old 12th May 2019, 07:34 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Ranb View Post
As long as it's not a rocket, they don't work in a vacuum you know!
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Old 12th May 2019, 09:57 AM   #19
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Fortunately there is just enough air for the blades to beat into submission. But then this craft is especially ugly, maybe Mars is going to repel it instead.
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Old 13th May 2019, 07:21 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by ginjawarrior View Post
the rotors on full sized helicopter are much much longer than the 1.1 of the mars rover so their tip speed will higher at lower rpm

a 5 inch (125mm) drone propeller here on earth could be going as fast as 34,000rpm
That's a heck of a bearing.
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Old 19th May 2019, 01:04 PM   #21
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Phil Mason (Thunderf00t) on Youtube has his doubts about the Scout. He claims the numbers all check out but thinks the helicopter will only last a week on Mars. It has to survive the cold Marian nights then be able to dump heat during the short flight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xSDBNzAtPs

He made a 2nd video to correct a few mistakes of the 1st. This was regarding the wire used to simulate Mars gravity in the Earth bound vacuum chamber.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGAIUlSw0yg

He calls the Scout less ballsy than the Apollo LEM. He also tends to wander away from the topic at times.


ETA; I know that thunderf00t is a person who misrepresents feminists which makes him rather cranky; but his thoughts on the Scout were good enough for this thread.

Last edited by Ranb; 19th May 2019 at 02:00 PM.
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