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September 27-28, 2004
Guanaco Camp, Atacama Desert, Chile

Arrive at site and organize camp
Receive cargo
Assemble Zoe and check out systems
Install plow

Status and Progress
Arrived at field site. Our second field site this season is in the region southeast of Antofagasta, in the interior of the Atacama desert. We are on the western side of the Domeyko Cordillera at about 2500m elevation. We immediately find this site to be drier and the sunlight to be more intense.. Through the arrangements by Chilean colleagues, we are staying in an inactive mine site and have the benefit of dormitories to sleep in and an open garage to set up our equipment.

Assembled Zoe. Zoe survived transport with no apparent difficulty. Several connectors were loose/unplugged but this may have actually happened the day prior to transport. Batteries and solar arrays went back together quickly; Zoe booted and drove around.

Installed plow. To access the shallow subsoils we have designed and prototyped a plow for Zoe. The plow stows into a cavity in Zoes underbody (behind the Fluorescence Imager, shown in the image below) for maximum ground clearance and deploys down, 40cm, to reach the ground. The plow is oriented so that Zoe plows while backing up. This is so the Fluorescence Imager can image terrain as it moves forward, then with plow deployed it can back up and image the same terrain as the plow has removes the top 2cm of soil. We tested an early prototype of the plow on Hyperion with encouraging results, further tests will tell how effectively and reliably Zoe will be able to plow.

Work on position estimator, power monitoring, and spectrometer
Set up satellite communication

Morning: Clear, calm, sunny, 18C, dry
Afternoon: Absolutely clear (light afternoon breeze), moderate 20C, humidity 25%
Evening: Clear, calm, cool 12C

Quote of the Day
"Jugo de Pollo"

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