The Perseverance rover is currently parked in the Jazero crater of Mars as the planet slowly moves out from the opposite side of the Sun. The images of the barren land and rugged ridges have shown the bleak nature of Mars. The new sound recording from Mars reveals the mystic attitude of the winds blowing on the surface. According to JPL, since the rover has arrived at Mars has recorded 5 hours of Martain winds gusts, rover wheels crunching over gravel, and motors whirring as the spacecraft moves its arm. There are two microphones in the rover. The sounds recorded by the rover will allow scientists and engineers to experience the planet in new ways.
The sound recorded by the rover gave the feeling that a person was standing on the planet. Martian sounds have strong bass vibrations, so one can feel it when headphones are put on. This spacecraft is the 1st spacecraft to record the sound of the planet using dedicated microphones. Both of which were commercially available, off-the-shelf devices. One rides on the side of the rover’s chassis. The second mic sits on Perseverance’s mast to complement the SuperCam laser instrument’s investigations of rocks and the atmosphere.
JPL developed the body mic, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico provided the SuperCam instrument and its microphone. On the rover, the SuperCam studies soil and rocks by laser zapping and then, with the help of a camera, analyzing the resulting vapour. Per target, the laser pulses up to hundreds of times and creates sound on Mars. More than 25000 laser shots have been recorded by the rover.
Sound analysis plays a vital role in studying the environment. This analysis provides crucial information to the scientists about changes in the atmosphere of Mars because sounds are vibrations travelling through the air. The mic also records microturbulence minute shifts in the air working by the rover’s dedicated wind sensors. This is part of a suite of atmospheric tools called Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA).
The wind’s speed, temperature, pressure are sampled by the MEDA sensors one to two times per second for up to two hours at a time. Similar information can be provided by SuperCam’s microphone at a rate of 20,000 times per second over several minutes. The sound analysis also allows for investigating how sound propagates on Mars since its atmosphere is much less dense than Earth’s. The researchers were able to eliminate two of the three models from the information from the helicopter audio. The models were developed to anticipate how sound propagates on Mars. The sound of Mars carried much further than the researchers thought.
Engineers use cameras to monitor the wheel on the Curiosity rover and dust accumulating on InSight’s solar panels. With the help of microphones, engineers could check the performance of the spacecraft. From the rover’s chassis mic, the Perseverance team is amassing loads of recordings. At the same time, there aren’t enough recordings yet to detect any changes over time. The researchers said they would love to listen to the sound regularly. The main objective of Perseverance’s mission on Mars is to find the signs of ancient microbial life.