View Single Post
Old 07-07-2007   #3
ablethevoice
Vintage Human
 
ablethevoice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Gulf Coast Florida Ivan and Dennis survivor!
Age: 59
Posts: 4,131
Rep Power: 84
ablethevoice has a reputation beyond reputeablethevoice has a reputation beyond reputeablethevoice has a reputation beyond reputeablethevoice has a reputation beyond reputeablethevoice has a reputation beyond reputeablethevoice has a reputation beyond reputeablethevoice has a reputation beyond reputeablethevoice has a reputation beyond reputeablethevoice has a reputation beyond reputeablethevoice has a reputation beyond reputeablethevoice has a reputation beyond repute
Send a message via MSN to ablethevoice Send a message via Yahoo to ablethevoice
Re: Are The Mars Rovers Doomed?

Quote:
Originally Said by Demento View Post
Cant the rovers just power down on a reserve battery or something, and then reboot when the sun comes back out? Or is the issue that the sand will destroy the solar panels?
The issue is this: At night, the rovers computers go to sleep, but they sit in what is in essence a battery operated oven which prevents the computer from freezing and operates continuously. Night time temps, even on the equator in summer on Mars can drop to 100 degrees below zero (summer daytime temps barely reach 0 degrees C) which could cause all sorts of problems-critical solder joints might fracture, hard drive bearings could freeze...stuff like that. If the storm cuts the sunlight off, the rovers won't be able to keep enough surplus charge to maintain the heater operation before the sun comes up in the morning. Even when they were new, the rovers had to sit "asleep" for an hour or so after the sun came up in order for the solar panels to charge the batteries enough to operate the oven as well as the rovers themselves. The rovers have survived dust storms before, but these storms are particularly powerful. As the article said, there are points where only 10% of the normal solar intensity is reaching the ground which is below the minimum threshold needed to keep the batteries charged enough to operate the oven as well as the rovers themselves. Even if the rovers remain asleep, just keeping the heaters on can and will drain the batteries to zero unless these storms pass or thin out. If the storms do weaken, then the rovers could just be kept asleep allowing what power the panels are providing to go towards keeping the heaters operational.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Even on a completely clear day on Mars, solar intensity is about 1/2 as bright as a day on earth.
__________________
"There Is No Religion Higher Than Truth." - Motto of the Theosophical Society

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein

"The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits." —Albert Einstein

“It's fortunate for governments that people don't think." - Adolph Hitler

Sturkis akidit ("shit happens") - Latin


Bent Ears Audio Laboratories - Better Music Through Chemistry

MUSIC IS LIKE CANDY. IT'S ONLY GOOD WHEN YOU GET RID OF ALL THE RAPPERS.
))#####D~~~~ (_l_)
ablethevoice is offline   Reply With Quote