Mars Rover

I find myself more enthralled than I had imaged with the idea of a rover on
the Martian surface. I do have two questions that I have yet to get
answered:
1. What percentage of the movements of the rover are (or, will probably
be) AI based? Are any? Or is it more like a long range radio controlled
dune buggy?
2. What is the typical time for a signal to travel from the red planet to
earth, or vice versa? Perhaps a more succinct way to put this is, if a
command to move to a certain place is sent from the earth, how long is it
until the device can actually start moving. Return it's results? I have no
idea how they have that set up, but it all seems very interesting.
Thanks!
Reply to
jbeck
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Reply to
Andras Tantos
Christ! I really hate it when that happens.
I feel like I just got Googled!!!!!
Thanks!!!!!!
Reply to
jbeck
Can a few "laser-based" signal relay outposts placed in between Mars and Earth speed up the communication process between command central and the Mars Rover?
Reply to
baracooda
The reason for the delay is the speed of light, so I'd doubt it.
Regards, Bob Monsen
Reply to
Robert C Monsen
On the off chance that light travels faster than radio waves in space? On the off chance that you may get better SNR from a single narrow band source than a DSSS source?
Why not two cans and a _really_long_ piece of string...?
GtG
Reply to
Grog
It seems one of the possible limiting factors to the use of the vehicle is that dust might collect on top of the solar arrays and degrade their efficiency.
As a complete neophite to this type of technical discussion, my question would be could a laser be used to recharge the remote vehicle?
Specifically, placement of the solar arrays on the lander which might provide more surface area, larger arrays, and a more centralized and robust location on which to mount arrays w/a mechanism to periodically clean the arrays. The the laser could be used to recharge the remote vehicle.
Again, this is coming from a complete neophyte, so I really have no clue as to the actual feasibility for something like that.
Reply to
jbeck
Soon or later a vacuum cleaner robot is needed. But my guess is that the Mars rover will be destroyed by falling astroids first. Anybody knows how windy is on the surface of Mars? If it is too windy, may be we should send a the Segway "Martian" transport instead. Ideally, the Mars rover should be an ground based robot with potential to go airborne. what about Helium based unmanned aerial robot?
Reply to
baracooda
The wind speed is often very, very high, but the air particles are so sparse that the resulting force is tantamount to a light earth wind.
Reply to
Tim Ford
When I was writing my original post, I just knew some smart aleck would bring up something that had to do with the robotic vacuum cleaners. I was actually thinking something more along the lines of handi-wipes in my little fantasy scenario. But then we might end up leaving trash all over the Martian landscape.
Reply to
jbeck
any mechanism to get rid of dust shouldn't be overlooked. Especially after spending that much money.
Reply to
baracooda
How about sending man to Mars so that he can wipe the dust off the solar arrays on the rovers?
Reply to
jbeck
My original post was along the lines of having the laser mounted on the lander. Then the distance the laser is shooting is only what, a kilometer or two? That seems like it would be technically possible.
Reply to
jbeck
Lasers are very poor efficiency devices, for the most part. It would take lots of power from the lander to send power to the rover- losses in converting the power to laser light. Then the solar cells on the rover will have large losses converting the light to power. You also have to add a targeting system to the lander so it can track and aim that laser right at its panels. You end up losing in the bargain in terms of mass, power, etc. Now, a simple light reflector and collector that could be aimed at the rover might make a difference by doubling or tripling the sunlight falling it its cells, but then you still have to design something that will weigh very little, add as little complexity as possible, and so forth. Perhaps a better idea would be to add a "sunflower" reflector that unfolds during the rover's charging cycle, but directly on the rover. A few grams of silver Mylar and an unfolding wire basket? Then the sunlight could be increased significantly and speed up the charging process. Of course, anything you add must be "fail safe" so that if the Mylar breaks down or shreds, it will not leave pieces everywhere, thus contaminating the site, or get caught in the mechanism, thus disabling the rover.
Cheers!
Chip Shults
Reply to
Sir Charles W. Shults III
How about having the rover plant a tiny little USA flag on Mars? Or, do we need to design a new flag that represent the planet Earth?
Reply to
baracooda
Good question. So, if we plant an American flag proclaiming the US's quest of getting there (likewise, the European Union can plan flags representative of the participating countries on their own landing sites), are we being arrogant, and insenstive to others who didn't make it? Or, if we plant a 'Peoples of Earth Flag', aren't we being presumptuous, and providing proof that the United States, in it's arrogance, is once again trying to take over and represent the world?
Reply to
jbeck
Points taken. I know they have researched using lasers to power small aircraft. A ground unit would energize the aircraft via a laser. Thus, the aircraft could technically stay aloft in perpetuity.
Thanks for the post.
Reply to
jbeck
It eludes me why anyone would want to plant anything on Mars... but if you were going to, it should be some kind of plaque commemorating the countries, institutions, and people who played a part in getting said plaque to said planet.
Reply to
Tim Ford
representative
Probably too much time in some of those highly negative political groups where everyone blames everyone else.
I would think plaques representative of all those people who have played a part would be very apropros.
Thanks for the post.
Reply to
jbeck

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