DPA Microphones Helps Mars 2020 Rover to Capture Sound

DPA Microphones d:dicate 4006 Omnidirectional Microphones and its MMA-A Digital Audio Interface Onboard for Historic Mission

In February 2021, NASA has scheduled for the Mars 2020 Rover to touch down on the Red Planet.

The spacecraft has the capability to capture the imagery and sound for the Mars 2020 vehicle’s descent through the Martian atmosphere and landing on the surface of Mars. To capture sounds from the Red Planet for the first time ever, the Mars 2020 Rover will be outfitted with a selection of equipment from DPA Microphones.

DPA d:dicate 4006 Omnidirectional Microphone will capture the high-quality audio while the DPA MMA-A Digital Audio Interface will be used to record and send audio to a computer through its USB connection. Both mics will be paired with DPA MMP-G Modular Active Cables, which will be ultra-transparent preamplifiers. The Mars 2020 spacecraft is currently being assembled at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California and the DPA products will be installed onto the vehicle in early 2019.

DPA won the contract from JPL based on its products ability to perform under demanding environments and the ability to deliver industry standard communication interfaces. DPA microphones can withstand the extreme conditions associated with space travel, leave a small footprint and connect to a computer with a USB interface. “These products will be in space indefinitely, which is a testament to DPA’s quality and resiliency.” said René Mørch, Product Manager at DPA Microphones: “We are honoured to be a part of this mission.”

The trip to Mars is expected to take seven months and will subject the Rover to extreme temperatures (environments could be -100°Celsius/-148° Fahrenheit), travel pressure both in and out of the atmosphere and intense vibrations associated with travelling in a rocket. The spacecraft design team has created a specialised enclosure to mount the DPA MMA-A interface inside the rover chassis and in cooperation with JPL NASA, the DPA R&D team created a custom MMP-G amplifier housing to bolt onto the exterior of the Rover. The microphone will allow the public, Project Engineers and Scientists to hear sounds while the Rover descends to the surface of Mars.