Animation of Mars Helicopter Flight Test

March 29, 2024
Historical DateMarch 29, 2024
PIA NumberPIA26240
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This animation shows a simulation of the response of NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter to the system identification, or "Sys-ID," process. A Sys-ID test campaign was conducted during two of the helicopter's flights on Mars in December 2023. Sys-ID is a data-driven method for understanding the complex behavior of a system by studying how specific inputs impact the motion of the vehicle.

Due to increasingly strong commanded inputs, the helicopter pitches back and forth with increasing frequency, as seen in the simulation. The precise nature of how the vehicle responds to these inputs is analyzed by engineers to better determine Ingenuity's flight characteristics. The helicopter conducted this maneuver while moving forward at about 22 mph (10 meters per second).

The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter was built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages the project for NASA Headquarters. It is supported by NASA's Science Mission Directorate. NASA's Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley and NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, provided significant flight performance analysis and technical assistance during Ingenuity's development. AeroVironment Inc., Qualcomm, and SolAero also provided design assistance and major vehicle components. Lockheed Martin Space designed and manufactured the Mars Helicopter Delivery System. JPL is managed for the agency by Caltech in Pasadena, California.