Acoustics is an important aspect of not just our architecture but how we and other deep ocean creature interact with each other and the surface. It is known to be used in submarines and other research experiments like seismic activity analysis for disaster management and such. While it serves enormous research opportunities and many already established companies creating cutting edge acoustic technologies, why are there so less extra planetary missions using them.

Yes, sound does not travel in a perfect vacuum, and most of space is so low density that acoustic techniques could not be used, but it does on planets and stars and other universal bodies. A research paper established by Mr. Leighton describes the various applications of acoustics in planetary research. I would like to know, if anyone knows how many missions use acoustics for planetary level research (excluding planet Earth).

If there are not many such missions, then why is it that the use of acoustics is limited in this sector? Is it something to do with the cost of the equipments or is it that they are considered inferior to purely electromagnetic wave based equipments?


1 Answer 1


Not yet, but Mars 2020 will. Scott Manley did a video on the subject, starting somewhere around here.

Basically Mars 2020 will fire lasers at something, listening to the sounds it makes and that can tell it something about the composition of the surface. You can read more about that on NASA's website.

  • $\begingroup$ You may want to add a link to answers to What would sounds on Mars be like?; InSight is already recording sounds on Mars via its high speed barometers, but I'm not sure how much science has come of it yet. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jan 11, 2020 at 7:29
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you! That's essentially what I have been looking for a while now! It was helpful. Very helpful. Thank you again. $\endgroup$
    – user46602
    Jan 11, 2020 at 7:46

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