Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Release Audio Sent By Huygens During Titan Descent

Date:
March 7, 2005
Source:
University Of Arizona
Summary:
Scientists have produced an audio soundbite that captures what the Cassini orbiter heard from Huygens as the probe descended on Titan on Jan. 14. The sounds may not be music to everyone's ears, but they're beautiful, interesting and important to investigators who are reconstructing the probe's exact position and orientation throughout its parachute dive to Titan's surface.

Ralph D. Lorenz, pictured here with a model of the Huygens probe that was on display at the European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany, has made a minute-long sound file covering about four hours of real time during Huygens' descent on Titan.
Credit: Photo courtesy of University Of Arizona

Scientists have produced an audio soundbite that captures what the Cassini orbiter heard from Huygens as the probe descended on Titan on Jan. 14.

The sounds may not be music to everyone's ears, but they're beautiful, interesting and important to investigators who are reconstructing the probe's exact position and orientation throughout its parachute dive to Titan's surface.

"The minute-long sound file covers about four hours of real time, from when the Huygens probe deployed its main parachute, down to ground impact two-and-a-half hours later, and then for about another hour on the surface," said Ralph D. Lorenz of the University of Arizona.

Lorenz, who is an assistant research scientist at UA's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and a co-investigator on Huygens' Surface Science Package, made the sound file from data formatted by Miguel Perez of the European Space Research Technology Centre, Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

To hear the audio file, go to the European Space Agency Website at http://sci.esa.int, or Lorenz' home page at http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/~rlorenz, or the UA News Services science Web page at http://uanews.org/science

The sound is a tone which has a frequency that depends on the strength of Huygens signal picked up by the Cassini orbiter's receiver. Signal strength depends on distances and angles between the orbiter and probe.

Huygens' antenna emits radio energy unevenly, Lorenz said, "like the petals of a flower rather than the smooth shape of a fruit." The rapid changes in the tone reflect Huygens' changing orientation caused by its slowing spin rate during descent and its swinging beneath the parachute.

"You can hear how the motion becomes slower and steadier later in the descent," Lorenz said.

The tone changes dramatically at 43 seconds into the minute soundbite, when the decelerating, choppy whistle suddenly becomes a steady whistle, generally rising in pitch. That sound change is when the probe landed.

"After landing, the tone is far less rich because the probe has stopped moving. But you still hear slight changes as Cassini flies through the lobes or 'petals' of the antenna pattern. Just before the end, you hear the weak signal drop out for a moment and then return. Overall, the signal was very robust. Cassini was locked on the Huygens signal throughout descent."

"Sounds are an interesting way of evaluating one-dimensional data like this," Lorenz said. "The human ear is very good at detecting small changes in sound."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Arizona. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Arizona. "Scientists Release Audio Sent By Huygens During Titan Descent." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050218160348.htm>.
University Of Arizona. (2005, March 7). Scientists Release Audio Sent By Huygens During Titan Descent. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050218160348.htm
University Of Arizona. "Scientists Release Audio Sent By Huygens During Titan Descent." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050218160348.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

A Hoax? Cosmetics Company Wants To Brighten The Moon

A Hoax? Cosmetics Company Wants To Brighten The Moon

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) FOREO, a Swedish cosmetics company, says it wants to brighten the moon to lower electricity costs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station

Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) On it's second attempt this week, The Space X company launched Friday from Cape Canaveral to ferry supplies to the International Space Station. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Unmanned Falcon 9 Rocket Blasts Off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida

Unmanned Falcon 9 Rocket Blasts Off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 18, 2014) The rocket, built and operated by Space Exploration Technologies, carries a Dragon cargo ship loaded with supplies and equipment destined for the International Space Station. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earth's Near-Twin Found Orbiting Red Dwarf

Earth's Near-Twin Found Orbiting Red Dwarf

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The newly-discovered planet is roughly the size of Earth and could have liquid water on its surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins