Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 61 to 67 of 67

Thread: Opportunity Update

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedude View Post
    Should NASA have installed a broom on an arm for sweeping the dust off the solar panels? Dust devils can't be too dependable.
    This was actually one of several ideas the MER team toyed with during it's construction. Some other ideas they had included one for compressed air to blow the dust off, and another was having clear plastic on rollers covering the solar panals and when the plastic got dirty they could just roll the dirty part away and have clean plastic replace it. All were eventually determined to be too heavy for their mass limit though. And from what I hear the mass limit was TIGHT for these rovers. At one point they were seriously considering throwing away one of their cameras just to save 200 grams of weight, that's how bad it got. And those solar panel ideas were all adding (iirc) 15-20 kilograms of mass to put in. In the end they decided that just having oversized panels for the rover that fold out was the best way to go.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    14,976
    And remember: 90 days primary mission...

  3. #63
    Glom's Avatar
    Glom is offline Insert awesome title here
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    11,213
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave241 View Post
    This was actually one of several ideas the MER team toyed with during it's construction. Some other ideas they had included one for compressed air to blow the dust off, and another was having clear plastic on rollers covering the solar panals and when the plastic got dirty they could just roll the dirty part away and have clean plastic replace it. All were eventually determined to be too heavy for their mass limit though. And from what I hear the mass limit was TIGHT for these rovers. At one point they were seriously considering throwing away one of their cameras just to save 200 grams of weight, that's how bad it got. And those solar panel ideas were all adding (iirc) 15-20 kilograms of mass to put in. In the end they decided that just having oversized panels for the rover that fold out was the best way to go.
    So it looks like a Miller example. Cheap up front leaving them vulnerable to problems down the line, but in the end worth it.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    1,642
    My "broom on an arm for sweeping the dust off the solar panels" was a bit of a tongue-in-cheeky comment, and it's been so long that I had forgotten about it being a 90 day mission.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    The Space Coast
    Posts
    4,254
    As I hope many of the board participants know by now (if you follow the MER mission), is that a "free broom" of sorts has been working on Opportunity (as it did for Spirit) regularly since the start of the mission: dust devils and other winds blowing off excess dust. It might seem unintuitive that a dust devil would clean the panels,but the winds associated with them are wider than the visible dust columns, and the dust density is often lower than what's on the panels, from what I understand.

    These cleaning events have been critical in extending the rovers' lives.

    CJSF
    "Find a way to show what would happen
    If you were incorrect
    A fact is just a fantasy
    Unless it can be checked
    Make a test
    Test it out"
    -They Might Be Giants, "Put It To The Test"


    lonelybirder.org

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    800

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    47,741
    At least they spotted it
    CBS News
    NASA's long-lived Opportunity Mars rover has been silent since June 11 in the wake of a global dust storm that swept around the red planet, blotting out the sun and preventing the rover's batteries from recharging. Despite clearing skies, the rover has yet to wake up, but it's no longer out of sight.

    In an image released Tuesday, Opportunity shows up as a small dot-like feature in a high-resolution image captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, showing the rover on the slopes of Perseverance Valley 166 miles below. Opportunity was slowly making its way down into the martian valley when the dust storm developed.
    Image is at the linked website.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •