Ingenuity helicopter makes its first flight on Mars

Category: English  |   19 Апрель 2021    

Ingenuity helicopter makes its first flight on Mars

Our terrestrial helicopter - the American drone Ingenuity, delivered to the surface of the Red Planet together with the Perseverance rover - made its first "flight" over Mars.


During a short test flight lasting about 40 seconds, the helicopter rose above the surface of Mars to a height of about three meters. Then he sat back down. Thus Ingenuity became the first flying machine to travel autonomously in the atmosphere of another planet.


The first flight data reached Earth a few hours after it took place. During the tests, Ingenuity took several pictures of the planet using a navigation camera installed on it. The drone sent all the data to Earth using Perseverance onboard transmitters.


About the helicopter Ingenuity

The Ingenuity helicopter weighs only 1800 grams, its two carbon-fiber propellers, located one above the other, have a diameter of 120 centimeters, the height of the structure in working order is 80 centimeters, and a meter by meter area is enough to support the four "legs" of the aircraft.


The most notable design feature of the Martian reconnaissance helicopter is the two coaxial pulling propellers. The advantage of this design is that it provides greater stability for the aircraft in strong winds.


Another important advantage of a helicopter with coaxial propellers is that, all other things being equal, it has smaller dimensions, and therefore requires a smaller take-off and landing platform. In a Martian situation, this is also very important.


In addition, such helicopters behave reliably in the event of engine malfunctions - for them, autorotation landing has been worked out.


Taking into account the fact that the Martian atmosphere is more rarefied in comparison with the earth's, the designers of this helicopter had to significantly add revolutions to its propellers to create the necessary lift. If our terrestrial helicopters take about 500 revolutions per minute to soar into the air, then the Martian propellers have spun up to 2500 revolutions.


The creators also provided that the Ingenuity helicopter will have to experience the effects of very low temperatures: at night on the surface of Mars it can get colder up to minus 100 degrees. In order for the units, assemblies and instruments of the aircraft to work normally, it is equipped with special heaters inside.




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