FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Weather plays an important role in our daily lives.
Depending on what the forecast calls for, you dress or prepare yourself accordingly.
That’s the same case from NASA engineers.
On February 18, 2021, NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on Mars.
A day later, the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) system on the rover powered on for approximately 30 minutes.
NASA's Perseverance Rover: The Technology
A 6-Wheeled Robot
1) Multiple sensors-supercam, imagers, radar
2) Intelligent control & sensor fusion
3) Robotic arm
4) spectrometers-uv & x-ray
5) MEDA (weather)
6) MOXIE (Oxygen from CO2)
7) Mini-helicopter (experimental aircraft) pic.twitter.com/CzlsrTCxPi
— Prof. Arthur G.O. Mutambara (@amutambara) February 20, 2021
That very day, engineers successfully received meteorological data and images from the SkyCam.
According to NASA, MEDA weighs about 12 pounds and it contains a suite of environmental sensors to record dust levels and atmospheric conditions.
It has the capability of recording wind (speed and direction) pressure, relative humidity, air and ground temperature, radiation from the sun as well as space.
MEDA works independently of the rover operations and the data is collected every hour.
The first data report sent to Earth was from the Jezero Crater on Mars.
Mars weather - #Perseverance is taking regular weather measurements at Jezero Crater, in the Isidis Planitia region of Mars' northern hemisphere. At this location, it's currently early spring. #Mars #Nasa pic.twitter.com/E4xn1lSUt6
— Alpenweerman (@Alpenweerman) April 15, 2021
According to the data, on April 14 it was negative 7 degrees Fahrenheit on the surface of the crater and the low was negative 116.
The information also indicated a cleaner atmosphere than the Gale Crater at approximately the same time.
The Gale Crater is being documented by the Curiosity rover that’s about 2,300 miles away.
According to NASA, over the next year, MEDA is expected to provide valuable information on temperature cycles, heat fluxes, dust cycles and how dust particles interact with light that affects both the temperature and weather on the Red Planet.
MEDA’s readings of solar radiation intensity, cloud formations and local winds will help engineers better understand how to prepare humans to deal with conditions on Mars.