MEDA’s sensors sample wind speed, pressure and temperature once or twice per second for up to two hours at a time. SuperCam’s microphone, on the other hand, can deliver similar information at a rate of 20,000 times per second for several minutes.
“It’s a bit like comparing a magnifying glass to a microscope with 100 times magnification,” said MEDA principal investigator Jose Rodriguez-Manfredi of the Centro de Astrobiología (CAB) at the Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aeroespacial in Madrid. . “From a meteorologist’s perspective, every perspective – detail and context – complements itself. “
The microphone can also be used to research how sound travels on Mars. Because the planet’s atmosphere is much less dense than that of Earth, scientists knew that high-pitched sounds in particular would be difficult to hear. In fact, a few scientists – unsure whether they would hear anything – were surprised when the microphone picked up the The buzzing rotors of the Ingenuity helicopter on its fourth flight, April 30, at a distance of 262 feet (80 meters).
The information from the helicopter’s audio allowed the researchers to eliminate two of the three models developed to anticipate the propagation of sound on Mars.
“The sound on Mars carries a lot farther than we thought,” said Nina Lanza, a SuperCam scientist who works with microphone data at LANL. “It shows how important it is to do science in the field. “