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Karen A. Wyle
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Science question re what probes would pick up

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message 1: by Karen (new)

Karen Wyle (kawyle) | 57 comments A technical question for all the professional or amateur scientists here: if a spaceship sends a probe to a planet, is there any plausible reason that it would transmit data like chemical composition, etc., plus a visual feed, but no audio? Or would any probe that provided a visual feed probably provide audio as well?


message 2: by Jaime (new)

Jaime | 61 comments I'll just leave this here -
http://www.acoustics.org/press/153rd/...


message 3: by Karen (new)

Karen Wyle (kawyle) | 57 comments I think I'll need to read this a few times. . . . My first impression is that the gist of the article is that the more you know about atmospheric and other conditions, the better you can interpret any acoustic data you pick up. Did I get that right??

Jaime wrote: "I'll just leave this here -
http://www.acoustics.org/press/153rd/..."



message 4: by CD (last edited May 20, 2012 10:07AM) (new)

CD  | 52 comments Karen wrote: "I think I'll need to read this a few times. . . . My first impression is that the gist of the article is that the more you know about atmospheric and other conditions, the better you can interpret..."

Pretty much correct. The added requirement is that you analyze the atmosphere to properly be able to know what 'sound' is in that environment. A simplification is that thinner atmosphere will transmit higher frequency better, while a denser atmosphere will transmit lower frequency better. Better defined as efficiency which translates into distance.

If there is no atmosphere, well then this is a different discussion as there is no audio propagation as we define it.

Clear as mud, right?


message 5: by Jaime (new)

Jaime | 61 comments Well, my only motivation for providing that link was to illustrate that probes have been equipped with acoustic sensors for a variety of reasons. IIRC the Russian Venera probes were to listen for thunder as a datum regarding lightning and other atmospheric electrical activity. I have no idea how they would have distinguished thunder from a volcano, unless it was presumed there is no active vulcanism on Venus. Bottom line for me, if it's been done IRL by real rocket scientists, that's enough precedent for a writer of sf.


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