APOD: Ingenuity: A Mini-Helicopter Now on Mars (2021 Mar 02)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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neufer
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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: A Mini-Helicopter Now on Mars (2021 Mar 02)

Post by neufer » Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:21 am

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Art Neuendorffer

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johnnydeep
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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: A Mini-Helicopter Now on Mars (2021 Mar 02)

Post by johnnydeep » Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:59 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:23 am
johnnydeep wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:18 am
Chris Peterson wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:10 am


A balloon and a drone serve different purposes. The former is substantially a survey probe, with limited control over where it goes. The latter is a precision sampler, which can be directed anyplace. Indeed, it's easy to imagine a hybrid system, where a balloon carries a drone, and drops it for close inspections or sample testing when something interesting is spotted, then carries it on to the next interesting place. A mission like that could operate for a few years.
That would be pretty cool. But I could see dropping off and picking up the drone repeatedly being a pretty complicated process.
You've seen the system used to put Perseverance on Mars? I think NASA and JPL and the others can do complicated!
True dat!
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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: A Mini-Helicopter Now on Mars (2021 Mar 02)

Post by johnnydeep » Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:03 pm

neufer wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:21 am
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Thanks - I think I had watched that over a year ago. The Veritasium channel and it's creator and host Dr. Derek Muller are fantastic.
"To Boldly Go......Beyond The Fields We Know."

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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: A Mini-Helicopter Now on Mars (2021 Mar 02)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:06 pm

johnnydeep wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:59 pm
Chris Peterson wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:23 am
johnnydeep wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:18 am


That would be pretty cool. But I could see dropping off and picking up the drone repeatedly being a pretty complicated process.
You've seen the system used to put Perseverance on Mars? I think NASA and JPL and the others can do complicated!
True dat!
I would add, however... I'm pretty sure that my own skill set would allow me to create such a system here on Earth using nothing but off-the-shelf parts. I think I could make a balloon/drone system where the drone would dock under the balloon where it could drift and charge, detach, fly to the ground to take pictures, and return. Over and over. It's a project well within the abilities of a great many people. The real smarts that would go into such a system on Mars aren't the details of making it work, but the details of making it extremely robust and reliable. Indeed, I'd suggest that an awful lot of the technology that we see on the rovers is more about reliability engineering than it is the basic technology itself.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: A Mini-Helicopter Now on Mars (2021 Mar 02)

Post by johnnydeep » Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:17 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:06 pm
johnnydeep wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:59 pm
Chris Peterson wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:23 am

You've seen the system used to put Perseverance on Mars? I think NASA and JPL and the others can do complicated!
True dat!
I would add, however... I'm pretty sure that my own skill set would allow me to create such a system here on Earth using nothing but off-the-shelf parts. I think I could make a balloon/drone system where the drone would dock under the balloon where it could drift and charge, detach, fly to the ground to take pictures, and return. Over and over. It's a project well within the abilities of a great many people. The real smarts that would go into such a system on Mars aren't the details of making it work, but the details of making it extremely robust and reliable. Indeed, I'd suggest that an awful lot of the technology that we see on the rovers is more about reliability engineering than it is the basic technology itself.
Ok, so you see this system as the drone having the smarts and maneuverability to return to the balloon and not the balloon needing the ability to return to the drone? If so, that would no doubt be much easier to accomplish. I was imagining the drone stranded on the ground and the balloon having to go pick it up, which frankly sounds ludicrous now that I'm writing it down :ssmile:
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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: A Mini-Helicopter Now on Mars (2021 Mar 02)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:21 pm

johnnydeep wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:17 pm
Chris Peterson wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:06 pm
johnnydeep wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:59 pm


True dat!
I would add, however... I'm pretty sure that my own skill set would allow me to create such a system here on Earth using nothing but off-the-shelf parts. I think I could make a balloon/drone system where the drone would dock under the balloon where it could drift and charge, detach, fly to the ground to take pictures, and return. Over and over. It's a project well within the abilities of a great many people. The real smarts that would go into such a system on Mars aren't the details of making it work, but the details of making it extremely robust and reliable. Indeed, I'd suggest that an awful lot of the technology that we see on the rovers is more about reliability engineering than it is the basic technology itself.
Ok, so you see this system as the drone having the smarts and maneuverability to return to the balloon and not the balloon needing the ability to return to the drone? If so, that would no doubt be much easier to accomplish. I was imagining the drone stranded on the ground and the balloon having to go pick it up, which frankly sounds ludicrous now that I'm writing it down :ssmile:
If there was a way to make a balloon go anywhere you wanted, you wouldn't need the drone! The system I described for Mars has the balloon drifting subject to the winds, and the drone acting as the inspector when something interesting is nearby.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: A Mini-Helicopter Now on Mars (2021 Mar 02)

Post by VictorBorun » Fri Mar 05, 2021 9:23 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:10 am
A balloon and a drone serve different purposes. The former is substantially a survey probe, with limited control over where it goes. The latter is a precision sampler, which can be directed anyplace. Indeed, it's easy to imagine a hybrid system, where a balloon carries a drone, and drops it for close inspections or sample testing when something interesting is spotted, then carries it on to the next interesting place. A mission like that could operate for a few years.
A Starships' town got an employment: to maintain a fleet of research drone balloons, copters and cars.
Maybe distant-pilot them too; earth-based driving on Mars is taking half an hour to react. But the drivers' team would be more comfortable orbiting Mars.

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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: A Mini-Helicopter Now on Mars (2021 Mar 02)

Post by neufer » Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:16 am

https://airandspace.si.edu/stories/editorial/plans-little-known-confederate-helicopter wrote:
Plans for the Little Known Confederate Helicopter
By: Thomas Paone, National Air and Space Museum's Aeronautics Department
Posted on Jan 23, 2013


<<The American Civil War brought about great advances in the use of technology in warfare. Balloons, railroads, ironclad ships, and even a submarine were demonstrated throughout the conflict, and new ideas were constantly being thought up and tried on the battlefield. Some ideas were more exotic than others, such as the one thought of by William C. Powers. In 1862, most of the ports of the Southern states were completely blockaded by Union naval forces, choking off much needed supplies and commerce. William C. Powers was an architectural engineer living in Mobile, Alabama, and personally saw the effects of the Northern blockade. Powers knew that the southern states did not have enough ships to break the blockade with naval power, and going through the blockade was full of risks. William Powers saw another way to crush the blockade – attack it from the air.

Using his engineering skills, Powers began drafting plans for a machine that could lift off and propel itself through the air to attack Union ships. Although balloons were being effectively used for observation, they lacked directional control and could not lift enough weight to make an effective bomber. Powers drew upon the work of other famous engineers, such as Archimedes and da Vinci, and employed Archimedean screws for lift and thrust, all powered by a steam engine. The engine was located in the middle of the craft, and used two smokestacks, which can be seen in the drawings. Two Archimedean screws on the sides gave the helicopter forward thrust, similar to how a propeller works on a ship in water, and two mounted vertically in the helicopter gave it lift. A rudder was added to the rear of the craft in order to provide steering. The drawings below show these Archimedean screws represented by the snaking line that runs across the page.

After drafting his plans, Powers set out to make a small model and then a full-size mockup. Although he had some success creating the small model, as can be seen below, limited resources and lack of support prevented the idea from ever leaving the drawing board. Family lore also says that fear prevented the idea from getting off the ground. When the drawings were donated to the Museum, family members stated that they were hidden during the war to prevent them from falling into Union hands. It was said that a full size example was never created for fear that it would be captured by the Union, mass produced, and used to rain destruction on the Confederate armies and cities throughout the South.

Although the laws of aerodynamics were not on the side of William C. Powers or his helicopter, they do reveal an interesting aspect of the technological advances which came about as a result of the Civil War. Powers even stumbles upon a building method which would be resurrected later on to manufacture airships and even bombers.In the drawing shown below, it is clear that the “hull” of the Powers aircraft would have been constructed using a lattice approach, similar to that used in the British Vickers Wellington Bomber. This provides incredible strength without adding lots of weight.Perhaps Mr. Powers was just ahead of his time…>>
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: A Mini-Helicopter Now on Mars (2021 Mar 02)

Post by Forrest White » Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:11 am