The first drone is about to land on Mars

  On July 30, 2020, the US rover “Perseverance” lifted off from Florida. Different from previous missions to Mars, this time there is a “little guy” following the lift-off. It is the first UAV to fly on Mars-“Wiz”.
  ”Wit number” how
  the United States The main task is to explore Mars’ perseverance number “to Mars, and” witty numbers “but a” Tim head, “is also humble. This can be seen from the investment in them: “Perseverance” cost 2.4 billion U.S. dollars, while “Wisdom” only cost 85 million U.S. dollars.
  The “Perseverance” rover is a “big guy” with a length of 3 meters, a width of 2.7 meters, a height of 2.2 meters, and a net mass of 1043 kg. Compared with the Perseverance, the Wit is pitifully small, with a net mass of 1.8 kilograms and a rotor blade length of 1.2 meters.
  ”Wit” cleverly hid in the “belly” of the “Perseverance” rover, and flew to Mars with the “Perseverance”. “Giz” is designed to meet the standards of a spacecraft and can withstand the gravity and vibration generated during rocket launch. When the Perseverance landed on Mars, scientists would wake up the wit and make it fly out of the “belly” of the Perseverance.
  After each mission is completed, “Wit” will return to the “bosom” of “Perseverance” again. At this time, “Witty” is like a baby kangaroo, sleeping quietly in the “abdomen” of the “Perseverance” rover.
  ”Wit number” how to fly
  research data show that the atmosphere on Mars is very bad. The atmospheric pressure on the surface of Mars is only 0.7% of that on Earth, 95% of the Martian atmosphere is carbon dioxide, and the average temperature of the Martian atmosphere is -63°C. Therefore, it is not easy for a drone to fly on Mars. Of course, drones flying on Mars also have advantages over the earth, that is, the gravity of Mars is only 1/3 of the gravity of the earth, and the drone does not need to spend too much “strength” to overcome the gravity of Mars.
  In order for the “Wiz” to fly smoothly on Mars, scientists designed advanced rotors for it. The rotor consists of 2 rotors and 4 blades with a length of 1.2 meters. These blades are made of carbon fiber materials, which are as thin as a cicada’s wings and light as a feather. At the same time, “Giz” is equipped with an anti-radiation system, which can ensure its normal operation in the cold Martian environment.
  Although the “Wit” uses advanced materials and design, its flight capability is also particularly limited: the maximum flight distance is 300 meters, and the maximum flight altitude is only 5 meters. This is because the flight on Mars is very strenuous, and the rotor needs to rotate 2800 times per minute to ensure the normal flight of the “Witty”. In the earth’s atmosphere, the rotor can fly easily and smoothly at only about 280 times per minute.
  ”Wizwit” will conduct a 30-day flight stability test 60 to 90 Mars days after the “Perseverance” landing, and it is expected to fly up to 5 times. Due to the high power of the rotor and the small rechargeable lithium battery carried by the “Wit”, the flight time of the “Wit” is very short, only 90 seconds.
  So, why not equip the “Wizwit” with a larger lithium battery? Because if the battery carried is too large and too heavy, the “Wit” will not be able to fly to Mars. “Giz” carries solar panels (located on the top of the drone), which can use sunlight to charge lithium batteries. But in just 90 seconds of flight, the “Wizard” needs a Martian day (24.62 hours) to recharge.
  ”Wit number” task
  at present, Mars orbiter and rover there. Why do scientists develop drones? This is because the orbiter is too far away from the surface of Mars, and it is difficult to observe the details of the surface of Mars; while the rover has a limited field of view, which requires high terrain, and is easily blocked by slopes, ridges, cliffs, and rocks. Break the way.
  If life ever existed on Mars, they may retreat into underground caves after the surface environment on Mars becomes harsh. Martian caves that are not exposed to sunlight may be storage places for water and ice. Therefore, if humans want to settle on Mars in the future, caves may be one of the alternative habitats. Regardless of the considerations, Martian caves are worth exploring, while rover and orbiter are not suitable for deep caves.
  The UAV combines the advantages of an orbiter and a Mars rover. It can be seen from the air, can be observed close to the ground, and can also fly into Martian caves, canyons and craters. For example, “Gizwit” carries small avionics, communication equipment and imaging equipment, so that it can fly to areas difficult to reach by the rover in accordance with instructions issued by ground scientists.
  ”Giz” is an exemplary Mars drone, that is, its main purpose is not to conduct scientific investigations, but to test whether the drone can fly on Mars. Based on their flight results and related data, scientists have improved the design of subsequent Mars drones so that future Mars drones can complete more scientific research missions more effectively.
  Harvard Gripp, the chief scientist of the “Wit” development team, believes: “The Wright brothers have shown that powered flight in the earth’s atmosphere is feasible. Our research will prove that the spacecraft can also be used in the Martian atmosphere. Fly.” Perhaps by February 2021, we will be able to enjoy the high-definition video of Mars captured by the “Wizwit” from low altitude. Let us look forward to it together!
  The origin of the name “Giz”
  In April 2020, NASA announced that it would name the first Martian drone as “Giz.” The name “Witty” comes from the suggestion of Vanessa Rupani, a high school student in Northport, Alabama.
  In addition, NASA has also invited young people from all over the United States to participate in the naming contest for the Mars rover to be launched in 2020 to stimulate their interest in space missions. A total of 28,000 elementary and middle school students in the United States contributed articles. In March 2020, NASA announced that it had selected the word “persistence” as the name of the rover.
  When NASA was preparing to name the first Mars drone, they did not hold a naming trial, but chose one of the outstanding names of the Mars rover. This is the origin of the name “Witty”, which was selected by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
  So, why did the name “witness” come up? Vanessa Rupani believes: “For those who want to work hard to overcome the challenges of interstellar travel, ingenuity allows us all to experience the wonders of space exploration, and ingenuity can also enable people to accomplish amazing things.”