Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Listen to Phoenix descend

30.05.2008
With data recorded on board Mars Express, you can hear Phoenix descend on to the surface of the Red Planet. After being processed by the Mars Express Flight Control Team, the sounds of Phoenix descending are audible, loud and clear.

The data from the Mars Express Lander Communication system (MELACOM) that tracked Phoenix was received on Earth soon after the Phoenix landing.

As Mars Express flew over

This animation shows the signal of Phoenix’s descent, recorded by MELACOM.

The spike in the animation, between frequencies of 7 and 8 kiloHertz, shows the transmission from Phoenix itself.

The lander can be seen in the animation starting from about 342 s after the start time and disappears at about 1085 s. This shows Mars Express picking up on the Phoenix signal and tracking it while closing in on the lander; the closest Mars Express got to Phoenix was 1550 km.

As Mars Express flew away, the lander deployed its parachute, separated from it and landed, the signal from the lander was cut off.

The shift of the spike seen in the animation, is due to the so-called Doppler effect, which is very similar to what we hear when listening to the whistle of a passing train.

The signal was tracked successfully, even during the expected transmission blackout window of the descent, until the lander was out of Mars Express’s view. The transmission blackout window is caused because of ionisation around the probe, which builds up as the lander descends through the atmosphere and only very weak signals come through.

The rest of the recording, the start and the end, contains background noise generated by Mars Express itself.

Animation and audio file available at:

http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Mars_Express/SEMAWQ1YUFF_0.html

Science observations

During the descent, all of the capabilities of Mars Express were focussed on tracking Phoenix with MELACOM. Unfortunately, the science observations carried out during the descent did not lead to the anticipated results.

Apart from these observations, the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) on board Mars Express has been collecting relevant data since 8 May this year in anticipation of the Phoenix landing. This includes information on the physical conditions of the Martian atmosphere (temperature, pressure and density) above the expected the landing site. This data was provided to NASA in support of their observations of the physical conditions in the atmosphere prior to landing.

Over the next few days, Mars Express will monitor Phoenix using MELACOM 15 more times; at least one of these will be used to demonstrate and confirm that the ESA spacecraft can be used as a data relay station for NASA, receiving data from the surface and transmitting test commands to the lander.

Detailed information about the descent and landing will be available once the data from all the fly-overs is processed and analysed over the next few weeks.

Michel Denis | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Mars_Express/SEMAWQ1YUFF_0.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions
27.04.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

nachricht SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history
26.04.2017 | Southwest Research Institute

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>