Redwire’s Veritrek Thermal Analysis Software Helps NASA’s Mars Ingenuity Helicopter Keep It's Cool
“The results produced by Veritrek were utilized to study the effect of the major thermal design drivers and Mars environment on the Mars Helicopter in as little as 10 days, an effort that would have taken over four months using traditional thermal analysis techniques.” – TFAWS, 2018
NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter was the first autonomous aircraft to fly on any planet in the solar system other than Earth. This created unique challenges with the helicopter’s small design, complex geometries, limited power, and challenging environments; consequently, additional care was taken while designingIngenuity’s thermal system.
Redwire’s Veritrek software was chosen by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to assess and verify the Ingenuity Helicopter’s thermal design. It is estimated that Veritrek was able to provide four months’ worth of thermal testing information in just 10 days, and the results provided JPL with a better understanding of the critical components of the Ingenuity Helicopter system.
The Veritrek team also provided specialized reduced-order model (ROM) software during planning of the Ingenuity Helicopter to predict how the helicopter’s thermal systems would perform once on Mars. After observing the helicopter’s ROM performance, JPL engineers were confident in the software’s ability to support Ingenuity’s mission operations by enabling rapid thermal model correlation and instant exploration of its thermal system response for different operation scenarios.