The third flight of the Creativity helicopter on Mars

Ingenuity has already sent the first color photos taken by the 13MP camera to Earth, and has also made another trip. This time it was even bolder than before. Control already knows flying isn’t a problem, so …

… the third time creativity rose at the same time as before (12:30 local time) to a height of just over 5 meters, but this time instead of making a short 2-meter jump sideways and back, it went 50 meters high Then he returned to the starting point. To drone pilots on the ground, this would seem a funny distance, but you have to look at it from a different perspective.

The pressure on Mars is so low that creativity had to be tested in an empty room

It is not just about the fact that the flight is autonomous and takes millions of kilometers from the operator’s station. But the fact that the atmosphere of the red planet, in a room filled with carbon dioxide and reduces the pressure to less than 1% of the pressure on Earth (such conditions prevail on Mars), creative designers can test a limited range.

A flight like Ingenuity’s third trip to Mars cannot be simulated on Earth. Hence it was a great unknown

During the ground tests, the helicopter was able to move only half a meter in each direction. This is not enough to verify how it will behave on a longer flight and how the navigation system will work, and among its elements are monochrome images captured by navigation cameras.

Dexterity helicopter flies slightly faster than a human walking

Fortunately, my concerns were unfounded, as the helicopter reached 2 m / s, or 7.2 km / h, during the flight. This is a little faster than the speed of the man walking, which is supposed to be 6 km / h. Not much when we compare this speed to DJI FPV performance.

Trip log
Dexterity has a flight record. Someday it will likely be the same exhibition as the writings of the Wright brothers

The flight was recorded in an 80-second video, but we will have to wait a few more days before the first parts of it reach Earth. Meanwhile, we have color photos documenting Flight # 2.

Pictures of similar resolution to those found in phones today

You wouldn’t expect 108MP of course, but given that most of the cameras used in the phones in default mode produce images of 12MP or slightly more, Ingenuity’s performance is the same.

Creating a color photo - the first
The first color photograph of creativity

The camera in the helicopter has a resolution of 4208 x 3120 pixels (about 13 megapixels) and these images have reached the ground. The lens is oriented at an angle of 22 degrees below the direction of the horizon, so during the flight it was possible to capture not only the surface itself, but also the shadow cast by creativity. The second image does not show a shadow, because the camera was looking in the other direction, or the creativity flew motionless in the air and did not tilt like it was during the flight.

Wondering what control plan is preparing for Ingenuity’s fourth voyage? We’ll find out soon.

Source: NASA JPL

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