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posted by janrinok on Friday May 28 2021, @03:18PM   Printer-friendly
from the Ingenuity's-Wild-Ride dept.

Flying has never been a safe or precise art. Even when it is not on Mars! Latest from the Ingenuity saga, from NASA it's own self.

On the 91st Martian day, or sol, of NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission, the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter performed its sixth flight. The flight was designed to expand the flight envelope and demonstrate aerial-imaging capabilities by taking stereo images of a region of interest to the west. Ingenuity was commanded to climb to an altitude of 33 feet (10 meters) before translating 492 feet (150 meters) to the southwest at a ground speed of 9 mph (4 meters per second). At that point, it was to translate 49 feet (15 meters) to the south while taking images toward the west, then fly another 164 feet (50 meters) northeast and land.

Telemetry from Flight Six shows that the first 150-meter leg of the flight went off without a hitch. But toward the end of that leg, something happened: Ingenuity began adjusting its velocity and tilting back and forth in an oscillating pattern. This behavior persisted throughout the rest of the flight. Prior to landing safely, onboard sensors indicated the rotorcraft encountered roll and pitch excursions of more than 20 degrees, large control inputs, and spikes in power consumption.

[...] Approximately 54 seconds into the flight, a glitch occurred in the pipeline of images being delivered by the navigation camera. This glitch caused a single image to be lost, but more importantly, it resulted in all later navigation images being delivered with inaccurate timestamps. From this point on, each time the navigation algorithm performed a correction based on a navigation image, it was operating on the basis of incorrect information about when the image was taken. The resulting inconsistencies significantly degraded the information used to fly the helicopter, leading to estimates being constantly "corrected" to account for phantom errors. Large oscillations ensued.

Large oscillations are better than small ones, if the truth be told. Godspeed, Ingenuity!


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  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @03:29PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @03:29PM (#1139665)

    Great, now thunderfoot is going to be even more of an asshole.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @03:32PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @03:32PM (#1139668)

      Must have some Microsoft software in there somewhere, time to reboot!

  • (Score: 0) by mydn on Friday May 28 2021, @03:39PM (5 children)

    by mydn (4215) on Friday May 28 2021, @03:39PM (#1139670)

    "Translate"? Do you mean "transit"?

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by mhajicek on Friday May 28 2021, @03:48PM (3 children)

      by mhajicek (51) on Friday May 28 2021, @03:48PM (#1139676)

      Translation is lateral movement.

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
      • (Score: 2) by driverless on Saturday May 29 2021, @11:41AM (1 child)

        by driverless (4770) on Saturday May 29 2021, @11:41AM (#1139997)

        It's not just that, the use of "excursions" when describing failure modes like this is also quite novel. My favourite is when a reactor is described as having undergone a power excursion. That doesn't mean a day trip to the zoo, it means Chernobyl.

        • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Sunday May 30 2021, @03:19AM

          by Immerman (3985) on Sunday May 30 2021, @03:19AM (#1140169)

          Novel? Translation is the standard term for movement along an axis in math, physics, and engineering - to clearly distinguish from rotation, the other kind of (common) motion with respect to the same axes.

          As for excursion, it's the second definition in Merriam-Webster:

          deviation from a direct, definite, or proper course

          When professionals in a field discuss something, they're likely to use the common technical terms for whatever they're discussing. Using layman's terms typically means they'd have to use twice as many words to say the same thing less accurately.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Immerman on Sunday May 30 2021, @03:12AM

        by Immerman (3985) on Sunday May 30 2021, @03:12AM (#1140166)

        In more detail...

        Not just lateral (=side-to-side), but also vertical and front-to-back.

        Basically there's six distinct kinds of motion a rigid body can potentially undergo - hence "6-axis" or "6DOF" (degrees of freedom) when talking about VR controllers, robots, etc.

        You can spin *around* any axis (yaw, pitch, and roll) = rotation
        You can move *along* any axis = translation

        Those are the standard terms used in math, physics, and engineering to specify the exact kind of motion being discussed. If you're talking about non-rigid bodies then you also introduce stretch, skew, bending, etc. Way more degrees of freedom, but both the math and engineering gets a lot more complicated as a result, so we mostly design things to be as rigid as possible to simplify the analysis.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @04:05PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @04:05PM (#1139689)

      Should've googled "translate" first.

      If this was a sincere question, you'd have got your answer quicker.
      And if this was smugposting, it would've saved you looking like the ignorant fuckstick you are.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Friday May 28 2021, @03:42PM

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday May 28 2021, @03:42PM (#1139674)

    Large oscillations are better than small ones, if the truth be told.

    While we were developing our UAV autopilot, unintended oscillations were always best when they had minimal amplitude and maximal period.

    --
    Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://www.newsweek.com/russian-state-tv-ukraine-war-dirty-bomb-putin-1754428
  • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Friday May 28 2021, @04:41PM (7 children)

    by Freeman (732) on Friday May 28 2021, @04:41PM (#1139721) Journal

    "We've encountered some sort of In-Flight Anomaly." might just take the cake.

    --
    Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Friday May 28 2021, @04:43PM (6 children)

      by Freeman (732) on Friday May 28 2021, @04:43PM (#1139726) Journal

      Also, isn't this a duplicate of the story just a couple stories down?

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by PiMuNu on Friday May 28 2021, @05:05PM

        by PiMuNu (3823) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 28 2021, @05:05PM (#1139738)

        A glitch occurred in the pipeline of stories causing one to be lost.

      • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @06:58PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @06:58PM (#1139798)

        This is just another instance of Aristarchus trying to do Runaway better than Runaway.

        • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @08:47PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @08:47PM (#1139830)

          Flamebait? Must have hurt some moderator's fee-feez.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @10:28PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @10:28PM (#1139867)

            indeed, this sub predates the other.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @10:49PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @10:49PM (#1139871)

              Not to mention the difference between a finely crafted aristarchus submission, and a slapdash copypasta URL IRC sub, which is more work for our hardworking and overworked editors!

      • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Saturday May 29 2021, @01:58AM

        by aristarchus (2645) on Saturday May 29 2021, @01:58AM (#1139905) Journal

        At least it got in before the Verge headline: NASA’s Mars helicopter had a midair brain fart [theverge.com].

  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @05:31PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @05:31PM (#1139746)

    That's exactly what you'd expect if Ingenuity had been hit by an Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator.

    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday May 28 2021, @07:03PM (2 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 28 2021, @07:03PM (#1139799) Homepage Journal

      More like what you'd expect if it had been missed by an Illudium whatever. Ingenuity only masses 1.8 kilos - if a gnat hits it, it's history.

      Did they even check the area for hazards like gnats, whales, and petunias?

      --
      "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @10:10PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @10:10PM (#1139859)

        I think you gotta be over 50 to catch your parent.

        Illudium Space Modulator was the favorite weapon of Marvin the Martian on Bugs Bunny cartoons.

        https://duckduckgo.com/?q=bugs+bunny+marvin+illudium+space+modulator [duckduckgo.com]

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 29 2021, @04:13AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 29 2021, @04:13AM (#1139944)

          Where's the KABOOM? Where is the Earth-shattering KABOOM??

  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Mojibake Tengu on Friday May 28 2021, @05:50PM

    by Mojibake Tengu (8598) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 28 2021, @05:50PM (#1139758) Journal

    Zhurong hacked the Ingenuity.

    --
    The edge of 太玄 cannot be defined, for it is beyond every aspect of design
  • (Score: 2, Flamebait) by TrentDavey on Friday May 28 2021, @06:44PM (9 children)

    by TrentDavey (1526) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 28 2021, @06:44PM (#1139792)

    Jesus, why don't you Americans drag yourselves in to the 21st century and adopt the metric system?
    Oh right. "You can have my feet and miles when you pry them from my cold, dead hands".

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Friday May 28 2021, @06:56PM (3 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 28 2021, @06:56PM (#1139796) Homepage Journal

      Actually, the metric system was 19th century, like Marxism.

      --
      "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @07:12PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @07:12PM (#1139804)

        And slavery, so it wasn't all bad.

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday May 28 2021, @07:21PM (1 child)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 28 2021, @07:21PM (#1139805) Homepage Journal

          You're about as sharp as a bowling ball, boy. Slavery has existed for thousands of years, probably tens of thousands, if not longer.

          --
          "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @10:25PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @10:25PM (#1139866)

            almost a wansui you might say.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DannyB on Friday May 28 2021, @07:52PM (4 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 28 2021, @07:52PM (#1139815) Journal

      why don't you Americans drag yourselves in to the 21st century and adopt the metric system?

      Just think for a second. Consider the ugly long decimal numbers such a thing would introduce into the following words of wizdumb . . .


      Before you criticize someone you should first walk a mile in their shoes.

      That way, if they get mad, they will be a mile away and barefoot.


      Before you criticize someone you should first walk 1.60934 km in their shoes.

      That way, if they get mad, they will be 1.60934 km away and barefoot.

      --
      I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
      • (Score: 4, Touché) by Osamabobama on Friday May 28 2021, @08:51PM (2 children)

        by Osamabobama (5842) on Friday May 28 2021, @08:51PM (#1139833)

        Consider the ugly long decimal numbers such a thing would introduce...

        Let's see how bad the decimals look:

        Before you criticize someone you should first walk a kilometer in their shoes.
        That way, if they get mad, they will be a kilometer away and barefoot.

        You just need to understand that the effective range of 'someone who is mad' is generally much less than either a kilometer or a mile. The real key to the advice is the monosyllabic nature of the word 'mile.' You could use 'click,' but that's relatively obscure jargon, so it loses something.

        In any case, folksy advice sounds better if it is old fashioned, so sticking with the mile is warranted.

        --
        Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 29 2021, @01:45AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 29 2021, @01:45AM (#1139901)

          Before you criticize someone you should first walk a kilometre in their shoes.
          That way, if they get mad, they will be a kilometre away and barefoot.

          FTFY.

          Plus it would look even weirder as 0.6213712 mile.

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday June 01 2021, @03:27PM

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 01 2021, @03:27PM (#1140755) Journal

          If they're only a kilometer away, they are more likely to catch you!

          --
          I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
      • (Score: 4, Funny) by Runaway1956 on Friday May 28 2021, @08:52PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 28 2021, @08:52PM (#1139834) Homepage Journal

        The really bad part of that is, the metric shoes. Who wants to walk a mile in size 42 shoes? Everyone will look like Bozo the Clown.

        --
        "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @08:51PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @08:51PM (#1139832)

    Actually, Ralph inadvertently set the "shakey cam filter" toggle in the mission profile. Bad Ralph.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Immerman on Sunday May 30 2021, @03:33AM

    by Immerman (3985) on Sunday May 30 2021, @03:33AM (#1140175)

    Excellent! Finally some real problems to learn from. Granted, this was a software control system fault rather than something directly relevant to the alien environment, but better than nothing.

    When they were talking about abandoning Ingenuity after the first few flights I was really disappointed - we would have learned absolutely nothing of value from it. Helicopters behave on Mars the way theory and tests in simulated environments predict. I mean, actually running a proof-of-concept test is a good idea to make sure your theory isn't wildly inaccurate... but we're not exactly pushing the bounds of physics here. Whether you're talking a helicopter or MOXIE's oxygen production - we were already 99.9% sure they'd work before we shipped the thing at great expense across millions of miles and dozens of km/s of delta-V, it seems to me that the real lessons are in the practical problems that crop up, so you can address them in the designing of your first "real" system.

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