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Journal Articles Space Science Reviews Year : 2023

The Mars Microphone Onboard SuperCam


The “Mars Microphone” is one of the five measurement techniques of SuperCam, an improved version of the ChemCam instrument that has been functioning aboard the Curiosity rover for several years. SuperCam is located on the rover’s Mast Unit, to take advantage of the unique pointing capabilities of the rover’s head. In addition to being the first instrument to record sounds on Mars, the SuperCam Microphone can address several original scientific objectives: the study of sound associated with laser impacts on Martian rocks to better understand their mechanical properties, the improvement of our knowledge of atmospheric phenomena at the surface of Mars such as atmospheric turbulence, convective vortices, dust lifting processes and wind interactions with the rover itself. The microphone also helps our understanding of the sound signature of the different movements of the rover: operations of the robotic arm and the mast, driving on the rough surface of Mars, monitoring of the pumps, etc. The SuperCam Microphone was delivered to the SuperCam team in early 2019 and integrated at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA with the complete SuperCam instrument. The Mars 2020 Mission launched in July 2020 and landed on Mars on February 18, 2021. The mission operations are expected to last until at least August 2023. The microphone is operating perfectly.


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hal-03977124 , version 1 (17-03-2023)



David Mimoun, Alexandre Cadu, Naomi Murdoch, Baptiste Chide, Anthony Sournac, et al.. The Mars Microphone Onboard SuperCam. Space Science Reviews, 2023, 219 (1), pp.0. ⟨10.1007/s11214-022-00945-9⟩. ⟨hal-03977124⟩
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