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Scitech Daily's Next Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Flight Delayed Until After Conjunction – Here’s What Went Wrong says:

Ingenuity controls its position and orientation during flight by adjusting the pitch of each of the four rotor blades as they spin around the mast. Blade pitch is adjusted through a swashplate mechanism, which is actuated by servos. Each rotor has its own independently controlled swashplate, and each swashplate is actuated by three servos, so Ingenuity has six servos in total. The servo motors are much smaller than the motors that spin the rotors, but they do a tremendous amount of work and are critical to stable, controlled flight. Because of their criticality, Ingenuity performs an automated check on the servos before every flight. This self-test drives the six servos through a sequence of steps over their range of motion and verifies that they reach their commanded positions after each step. We affectionately refer to the Ingenuity servo self-test as the “servo wiggle.”

Question: Where are Ingenuity's two swashplates and six servos? I only see one of each in this NASA/JPL-Caltech photo.

The "C" annotation labels a servomotor, and the "D" labels a short cylinder as a swashplate. I'm lookin for a description and/or a an image to understand where the other swashplate and other five servos are.


Ingenuity’s Upper Swashplate Assembly: The upper swashplate of NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter controls the pitch of the upper rotor blades as they rotate and is critical to stable, controlled flight. The swashplate is driven by three small servo motors. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Ingenuity’s Upper Swashplate Assembly: The upper swashplate of NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter controls the pitch of the upper rotor blades as they rotate and is critical to stable, controlled flight. The swashplate is driven by three small servo motors. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

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There are three servos visible in the photo, the one labelled "C" and two more aranged at 120 degree difference around the shaft.

The domed end of the second can be seen directly under the right side of the swashplate, and the square back end and linkage of the third can be seen directly under the "D" line.

The second swash plate and associated servos will be connected to the second rotor and do not appear to be in this image.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yikes! Yes two swashplates. Okay I'm starting to understand the image better now, thanks! It's possible we can in time find a clearer image of the complete system. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 10:14
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    $\begingroup$ there are clear diagrams at popularmechanics.com/space/moon-mars/a35353442/… @uhoh -- used the search term "ingenuity mars servo diagram" to find them $\endgroup$
    – user44085
    Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 10:34
  • $\begingroup$ Oh that's beautiful! I'll look around for some NASA images as well. hips.hearstapps.com/hmg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/… $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 11:29

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