October 26, 2021: Courtney Duncan N5BF: Mars Helicopter Telcom


PLEASE NOTE: Because our meeting location is unavailable due to the coronavirus situation, this presentation will be webcast on the internet. See the IMPORTANT NOTE at the top of this page.

On February 18, 2021 NASA/JPL's Perseverance rover landed on Mars. On April 3, 2021 (Sol 43) Perseverance dropped off a passenger, the Mars Helicopter Ingenuity, a Technology Demonstration. Ingenuity has done numerous test flights, reconnoiters, and related experiments ever since. This talk is about the Mars Helicopter, the communication system between the rover and the helicopter, and how the mission has been going.

Courtney Duncan N5BF retired from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech this summer after a 34 year career in navigation and communications systems, embedded and mission support software, and spaceflight instrument development, implementation, and management. One of his most recent JPL tasks was managing the Ingenuity to Perseverance telecommunications subsystem design, implementation, delivery, and in-flight operation. A licensed radio amateur since 1972, he has been involved in a wide variety of amateur radio activities ranging from homebrewing to contesting, emergency communications to moonbounce, and top band through microwaves. He has been an officer of AMSAT-North America and of the JPL Amateur Radio Club W6VIO and is currently president of the San Bernardino Microwave Society (see About (w6ife.com) ). Corutney currently resides in La Cañada, California, with his wife Viann WD5E.