the Martian helicopter

Tyger

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I see they are planning to launch this thing next month:
Doing a bit of research, the atmospheric pressure at the surface of Mars is only about 6.5 millibars (compared to over a thousand millibars at the Earth's surface). That's what I call thin air! Even at the summit of Everest the pressure is about 300 millibars.
Of course Mars has only 1/10 the mass of Earth, so the acceleration of gravity there is a lot less, but how fast must those rotor blades have to spin to get it airborne??
 
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WaspAir

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The radius of Mars is smaller, too, which puts one closer to the center (it's an inverse square law), so the gravitation is more than the mass comparison alone might make you think. Force at the surface is about 3/8 of Earth, I think, so you only need that much lift. Assuming lift is proportional to atmosphere density and square of velocity, I would expect you'd need around 20 times the airspeed (WARNING: math done in my head and subject to error accordingly).
 

okikuma

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Somewhere within my dura matter memory banks, the at the surface Mars atmospheric pressure is equivalent to a little more than 110,000 ft on Earth. The just under 4' diameter rotors would be turning around 2,500 rpm. As weighed on Earth, the 4 lb rotorcraft will weigh about 1.5 lb on Mars.

Here's the link to the NASA website:


Wayne
 

Tyger

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Evidently its maximum flight altitude will be 5 meters, and it will collect enough solar energy to fly about 90 seconds each day.
 

Smack

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Evidently its maximum flight altitude will be 5 meters, and it will collect enough solar energy to fly about 90 seconds each day.
If that is the case, this little experiment would hardly be worth it. :rolleyes:
 

Tyger

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Maybe so, but it's kind of hard to say what any space experiments are "worth". Especially with respect to what they cost.
 

Martin W.

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I was half expecting to see a rotor control using the Hiller servo paddles common on drones and remotes .... Stanley Hiller would have been proud .

But it looks like a direct control rigid rotor co-axial .... which interestingly is what the first Hiller machines tried to use back in the 1940's

I wonder what those small vertical fin-things are at the blade root ???
Above the rotor looks like a solar panel for recharging the batteries.

We read about things like helicopters on Mars in 1950's science fiction comics ... today it is a reality ... next will be men on Mars ... dressed in green of course :)
 

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