Everything about the mission — from the launch to the landing — is hostile, insofar as a microphone is generally concerned. And yet DPA was able to record something from so many millions of miles away! After the rover touched down, audio and video files were recorded from the surface and transmitted to NASA’s base station. NASA sent these files to DPA’s engineering team for processing and review.
Predicting the sound & microphone performance on the red planet – Toni Rosell
Technology manager Toni got to work trying to understand the acoustics on Mars, e.g. pitch, propagation etc., based on parameters from previous visits. The most challenging part was predicting the behavior of the microphone on extraterrestrial conditions. Trying to understand an environment that us mere Earthlings had never had sound from before, was something completely different from his normal job.
Ensuring the gear would survive – Rune Møller
The DPA microphone, amplifier and A/D interface simply had to fit the mechanical challenges given by JPL NASA. Amazingly, it was possible to use the DPA microphone system right off the shelf, but after discussions with NASA, it was decided to take extra care around surface treatments and unnecessary decorative elements. This was both to avoid polluting the planet and to reduce weight. Mickey Mouse ears were added to our amplifier, so it could be attached to the port side of the Rover.
Preparing the audio recordings for public presentation – no pressure Eddy!
Getting digital files containing sound from Mars and being one of the first humans to hear what Mars sounds like was exciting. And then, listening to the recording and determining what processing would be adequate was special. Final decision: Preparing two versions: One version containing the sound of the nuclear engine and martian winds. And one version, just blowing in the wind.
René Mørch will share anecdotes, pictures and video content from the mission and moderate this webinar.