I wonder if we'll be able to hear the whirr of the helicopter when it flies...?
Fingers and antennae crossed!
Ever wondered what it sounds like to drive on Mars? The answer involves clonks, squeaks, and a distressing amount of scratching. The latter, according to scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), is hopefully the result of something like electromagnetic interference from electronics within the Perseverance Rover …
... a microphone that was inadvertently dropped picking up on harmonics through the chassis.
I have an old RCA ribbon microphone in need of a rebuild that sounds similar (garage sale, $25, scored!) ...some frequencies are distorted, others come through just fine.
It'd be nice to see synced video to connect the sounds to what is actually happening!
Seriously, I thought it was capable of it, or I'd have dropped a suggestion to Mars Lab years ago ... scads of cameras, a couple of microphones, and no way to easily sync the one to the other? What were they thinking?
Come to think of it, are they not capable of video at all? That would make no sense ... Maybe after they fire up the chopper :-)
I too am surprised that the systems aren't sufficiently coordinated to allow for synched audio and video. I know that the survival of the microphone is an unexpected thing, but now that's it has happened it's unfortunate that they can't make the best possible use of the outcome.
after listening to portions of both the raw and filtered, it seems to me that the 'scratches' were, in fact, the sounds of the powdered regolith-like material being pressed into the cracks of the wheels. Some kinds of powdery stuff will 'squeek' when you compress it. That's what it sounds like to me. And filtering it out loses that aspect of it, so the raw version is the better one.
If you listen to it carefully with this in mind, it makes sense. The rover is going over rocks and powdery regolith-like material [as apparent from the photo anyway] and leaving some nice patterns in the dirt, showing how it's being pressed between the cracks of the wheels.
I suppose without that sound-sync video it's only possible to guess. But it also helps to be a musician who does amateur recording and equalization and noise removal and things like that.
Given the chances of getting stuck in very fine dust traps, it seems some kind of walking function would have been a useful add-on. Articulated control of each leg to give it some ambulatory abilities.
Wouldn't have to walk very far, nor very fast. Just enough to shuffle back along its path to find solid(er) ground to roll across.
Anyone know if that was considered?
Reminds me of something Einstürzende Neubauten would have recorded in the 80s.
Also jolly good stuff by the boffins. Not only have they zapped a rock with a laser, but worked out that it contains a lot of igneous rock. Whether as a single lump or part of a mix of sediment and volcanic granules is not yet known. Still Percy is already doing science which is bloody marvelous.
All you are hearing here is the sound travelling through the structure - sound travels faster in material than an atmospheric medium, and doesn't pick up residue.
If this was recorded from a remote source not attached to the rover, it would be pretty quiet.
For an example, here is a cycling video I made in 2008 - the 'action cam' was mounted on my handlebars with a rubber protected clamp, and I kept a clean machine. Listen at the clangs and knocks that it picks up through the bike frame:
Much the same is going on here at mars.
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