The NASA Perseverance rover (March 2020) which will prepare the sample return mission. The SSPA group is present on the rover through its contribution to the SuperCam instrument, which analyzes rocks remotely using LIBS technology (Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy). We have developped and supplied the first Martian microphone, which complements the LIBS measurements by providing calibrated information on the hardness of the rocks.
Here are some SSPA research topics related to the Mars Microphone:
LIBS – Microphone science
We study the acoustic signal associated with the plasma formation during Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) experiment on SuperCam. Our research shows that listening to LIBS sparks provides information about the target hardness/density; results that are independent from and complementary to the LIBS spectrum.
Atmospheric science with the Mars Microphone
The microphone will record aeroacoustic noise generated by wind flowing past the microphone. Using experiments performed in the Aarhus Martian wind tunnel, we have demonstrated that the SuperCam Microphone has the potential to determine both the speed and the direction of the wind on Mars, thus contributing to atmospheric science investigations.