The Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure probe onboard the Insight lander is meant to measure subtle seismic events on Martian surface.

In order to reduce the noise induced by wind, a protective cover is installed on top of it.

Is it essential for this cover to have a bellows design? Why would not a standard rigid cover do the job of wind protection?

Image for reference from Spaceflight 101's InSight Instrument Overview "Wind & Thermal Shield – Image: CNES/InSight Project" (courtesy @uhoh's answer).

InSight's Seismometer's wind cover


1 Answer 1

  1. The bellows are flexible, which means the cover will adjust itself to give a good seal on the uneven surface.
  2. the bellows can be easily folded up to take up minimum volume during flight, without needing a powered unfolding sequence which would add complexity and weight.
  • $\begingroup$ The "chainmail on a rock" picture above illustrates your point #1 nicely. $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 18:49

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