One concern in How long could the Mars helicopter Ingenuity keep up with the Perseverance rover if it wanted to? is that the helicopter must cycle its battery every night to stay warm, and that could severely limit its lifetime.

Question: Could Ingenuity stay warmer at night by landing on (or near) Perseverance's RTG?

If landing on top of the RTG would be too dangerous or toasty, could it land on the surface under the RTG and bask in its radiant heat and stay significantly warmer than being completely exposed to the cold martian sky? (How cold is the Martian sky at night? Or the day for that matter?)

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    $\begingroup$ "For safety reasons, the copter will be no closer than 100 meters from the rover..." jpl.nasa.gov/universe/archive/universe1807.pdf $\endgroup$ – Cornelisinspace Aug 1 at 9:15
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think that the RTG is warm enough. It only puts out 2000 watts of heat, of which a large part goes into the rover. To feel that radiative heat, you'd need to be practically hugging it, not just near it. $\endgroup$ – Dragongeek Aug 1 at 10:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Dragongeek What "warm enough" is probably needs at least an envelope back to work out, but any reduction in the depth that Ingenuity's batteries must discharge to nightly will extend their lifetime, and anything above Ingenuity that's warmer than Mars' night sky will do that. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Aug 1 at 19:34
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    $\begingroup$ related: space.stackexchange.com/q/29589/20636 $\endgroup$ – JCRM Aug 20 at 14:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Dragongeek my guess is that at least half, if not 2/3 of the 2000 W is radiated by the fins. I also think that landing beneath the RTG every night could make at least a substantial dent in the depth that the batteries would have to discharge every night to stay warm. But these are just guesses. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Aug 20 at 14:58

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