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InSight Surface Operations, 26 Nov 2018-
PaulH51
post Sep 26 2019, 10:55 AM
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The latest images from Homestead Hollow shows they moved the IDA (arm) closer to HP3 on sol 295, attached is a processed IDC image.
Hopefully a precursor to activity that will get the mole back in action, but there no update in the DLR mission log since August (prior to conjunction)
Attached Image
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PaulH51
post Sep 29 2019, 10:21 PM
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Arm activity places the scoop directly above the pit on sol 298. Maybe another attempt planned for compressing the regolith? There was no apparent contact with the ground observed on any of the IDC or ICC images released at the time of this post, so this looks like preparation.
Processed IDC attached
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rhr
post Oct 1 2019, 08:12 PM
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From https://www.seis-insight.eu/fr/actualites/4...symphonies-seis
(links to sound clips etc. are on that page)

SEIS's symphony of ground, air, amd metal

After its trip to the martian surface last february, InSight's seismometer
SEIS, furnished by CNES, has been listening to the red planet. This cold
desert world, whose lively geological past has given way to a profound calm,
"breathes" again, albeit in a subtle way. In its ability to detect seismic
waves from fault movement or meteoritic impacts, SEIS will permit the study of
the internal structure of mars and will provide crucial information for
interpreting the history of its formation and evolution.

Sonification

Whether terrestrial or planetary, seismology is a somewhat austere discipline.

Unlike the bounty of images returned by the satellites in orbit or the rovers
wandering the dusty and desolate surface, most of the data returned by the
seismometer every day is hard for humans to look at. Although seismic signals
can be displayed as waveforms or converted into colored spectrograms (where
each frequency is represented as a function of its power), these
representations are not intuitively comprehensible. There does however exist
one technique which, though it sacrifices a bit in realism, can make the data a
little more engaging and convivial, sonification.

Given the frequencies involved, the data returned by SEIS cannot be heard by
the human ear. Additionally the signals are much too weak to be heard in their
original form. However by amplifying the data and speeding it up it can be
rendered audible. They aren't real sounds such as a microphone would record,
but the result is nevertheless interesting and intriguing.

The rumble of mars quakes

Since being put into service at the start of the year, InSight's SEIS has
registered about 100 events, about 20 of which have been interpreted as mars
quakes. The first one took place on sol 128, 7th april 2019. Two more quakes
more powerful than the first were detected on sol 173 (22 may) and then sol 235
(25 july) with magnitudes respectively 3.7 and 3.3. Intensively studied by a
team of planetary seismologists, they have revealed very interesting things
about the martian crust.

While waiting for the publication of these first scientific results, the
signals recorded on sols 173 and 235 by the high-sensitivity VBB pendulums were
sonified by researchers at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris and made
available as sound files by JPL, the NASA center responsible for the mission.
These extraterrestrial quakes, which shook the ground of a planet hundreds of
millions of kilometers from earth, sound like muffled rumblings.

(see page for links to sound files)

Several sources of external noise

With its extreme sensitivity SEIS doesn't just hear the movements of the ground
but rather all of the noise in its environment, including its own.

The most common noise source is meteorological. InSight's landing site on
Elysium Planitia is particularly windy. Aside from wind gusts, dust devils
abound and occasionally rustle the lander. Although this atmospheric
turbulence, mainly active during the day, must be removed from the seismic
data, scientists can use it to study the near subsurface.

Other strange or amusing sounds can be uncovered by the golden ear that is
SEIS. This is particularly the case with the robotic arm which makes a sort of
loud squeaking sound.

Even stranger, some clicking sounds, called "dinks and donks" by the science
team, can be heard mainly in the evening when the wind dies down. They come
from the seismometer's own internal workings. Inside the instrument many parts
expand and contract with the daily temperature changes. Although the
seismometer has many levels of very effective thermal protection (the vacuum
vessel, the RWEB thermal sheild, the WTS bell), it can't be entirely isolated
from the martian environment. The result are unavoidable ticking sounds, like
after a car's engine has been shut off and it cools down, which get recorded by
the seismometer. Other very suble noises are caused by electrical
interference.

(sound file)

So when they're sonified, the signals recorded by SEIS are transformed into a
special type of concert: a symphony of ground, air, amd metal, of which an
example can be heard below. Assembled by NASA from data provided by the team
in charge of the seismometer, the clip shows, with help from images from the
IDC camera and a spectrogram, the sounds generated by movement of the robotic
arm, wind activity, as well as the rumbling of the seismometer's internals.

(youtube clip)
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atomoid
post Oct 1 2019, 09:47 PM
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QUOTE (PaulH51 @ Sep 29 2019, 02:21 PM) *
Arm activity places the scoop directly above the pit on sol 298. Maybe another attempt planned for compressing the regolith?....

seems so, 9/29 entry on the leonarddavid site not much new news just "...Bottom line: Will they succeed in covering up and filling in this hole in one?"

Also handy live translation for SEIS page to help view those links in readable context
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PaulH51
post Oct 2 2019, 08:14 AM
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On A Mission Podcast : InSight’s Insights (October 2,2019)

Discussions with:-

Tom Hoffman: Project Manager
Bruce Banerdt: Lead Scientist
Sue Smrekar: Deputy Project Scientist
Matt Golombek: Landing Site Lead

Media Page including links and full transcript: Link
MP3 Podcast - duration ~46 minutes: Link
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stevesliva
post Oct 2 2019, 01:48 PM
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Yikes. If they can have the arm push on the mole, it works for a couple strokes, and then they'd have to do it all again... painstaking if it comes to that.

Also mentioned is that it's at close to the limit of the arm's reach, so dumping soil right into the hole isn't feasible. They'd have to dig, pile, and bulldoze it over there, if I interpret things right.
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walfy
post Oct 2 2019, 06:51 PM
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Not sure if mentioned already, but wondering if getting some stones into the hole might work better instead of soil alone, by rolling them into it from nearby outcrop. When the mole starts hammering it could possibly wedge the stones in tighter between the mole and the wall of the hole, giving the mole more purchase power then from soil alone. But I'm sure they've thought of everything already.
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atomoid
post Oct 2 2019, 08:35 PM
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Lots of great info in the NASA article PaulH51 posted. Thanks!
It sounds like the arm is too extended to 'pull' soil in from behind it, but i don't see any reason why the back of the bucket couldn't be used to push soil into it from in front of the hole instead.

On that note, as Walfy mentions above, I also have a hunch that larger pebbles would provide better wedging properties than sand, as i would suspect it would tend to disrupt void formation, and it looks like there is plenty of suitable material within scoop or scrape range.
I am only roughly guessing at the rate things are going, if all else fails, that the supposed Hail Mary: "Let's just push on the back and see what happens, and see if we can get it to move forward." since the arm cant really 'push' but only hold position, is going to take a lot of in vitro testing and perhaps software updates to support command sequences and prevent complications, and so probably wouldn't be attempted for another year or more.
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Phil Stooke
post Oct 3 2019, 06:41 PM
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The newest images give me the impression they are testing positioning for a direct push on the mole, not leading up to a new surface contact.

Phil


--------------------
... because the Solar System ain't gonna map itself.
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ddeerrff
post Oct 3 2019, 07:27 PM
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Tweet from NASAInsight
"My heat probe recovery efforts continue…
I’m going to use my scoop to push sideways on the mole, “pinning” it against the soil wall. This may help it get more traction to start digging again. More details: http://go.nasa.gov/2OhxNFz"
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fredk
post Oct 3 2019, 07:44 PM
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From that news release:
QUOTE
Besides pinning, the team is also testing a technique to use the scoop in the way it was originally intended to work: scraping soil into the hole rather than trying to compress it
No word on whether that means pushing outwards as atomoid suggested.
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PaulH51
post Oct 3 2019, 09:23 PM
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News releases by NASA/JPL and DLR

Both relate to pressing the side of the scoop against the mole, pinning it to the wall of its pit, to attempt to gain friction and allow the heat probe to continue its journey. Besides pinning, the team is also testing a technique to use the scoop in the way it was originally intended to work: scraping soil into the hole rather than trying to compress it.
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MahFL
post Oct 4 2019, 01:21 AM
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Good to see all hope is not over, good luck Mole !
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stevesliva
post Oct 4 2019, 04:41 PM
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35cm depth, duricrust up to 10cm thick, 5cm above surface.... doesn't make it a given that even if the rub gets it to 40cm depth that the arm won't need to bury it to help it get deeper. Hopefully it does become conclusive that lack of friction/leverage is the issue, and that there's no roadblock.
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PaulH51
post Oct 7 2019, 08:18 PM
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A short hammering session for the mole is scheduled for October 8. Updated DLR Blog link
#savethemole
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