Mars Rover Spirit

Had a look at the Mars rover page like I do now and then and see the rover Spirit is still not sending any comms etc back and has not done so since 22 March 2010.

Find it fascinating that if no contact was due to low battery power, how does it comes back online?

Was the power so low it shut down and was able to use the bit of power it does get each day to keep enough power to keep any of the electronics going?

I think the batteries are some kind of li-poly batteries and I know myself they are okay with being frozen, as when I store my own lipo’s I use for my RC helis, I sometimes store them at something like half storage voltage and they are fine after they have thawed out.

I know if you tried to run them from frozen I know they don’t work very well at all.

So got me thinking, do the solar panels on the rover produce enough power during the sunnier days to provide a charge and any excess that will just power up the comms side? Or does the voltage of each power pack have to hit a certain figure first?

Wonder if the engineers put in a mode that if the batteries wont charge, try using daily power to run the comms and see what happens mode?

I know if those batts fall below a certain voltage they will be near useless, so got me thinking what if.. 😉

Interesting to see with it getting more sunlight soon whether it comes back and says hi!

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