Very interested to see this. Who would have thought a helicopter would work in such a thin atmosphere.
Well in its favour there are no trees to crash into.Interesting and fun
Well-funded engineers willing to push the envelope were paid to think of everything necessary to meet the parameters for the basics of Martian flight.
- Before becoming a CO2 aircraft* ingenuity was also a spacecraft. This too had to be implemented into the total design.
Once safely positioned on the Martian surface with a ~ 20-minute time delay any control from Earth is not feasible with the precision required to maintain flight. So JPL developed an autonomous flight system with a sensor suite that provides continuous feedback using onboard gyroscopes, accelerometers, an altimeter, and an inclinometer coupled with optics with a control algorithm.
Will it work the first time?
* Is "aircraft" the correct terminology?
Well in its favour there are no trees to crash into.
Aircraft.... hmmmm thinaircraft.