October 1, 2004
Guanaco Camp, Atacama Desert, Chile
• Reconfigure and calibrate environmental monitoring station
• Work on sun tracker and spectrometer
• Navigate autonomously
Status and Progress
Assembled environmental monitoring station. New components have been
installed and configured. The sun tracking spectrometer was tested and
calibrated. Everything is ready of installation tomorrow.
Working spectrometer. After a re-implementing the hardware driver to
correct problems with data buffering and blocking, the VNIR
spectrometer is now working as an integrated element of the
rover. Zoe’s high-level autonomy software can now command the
instrument to optimize (adjust and balance its gains) and the collect
spectra via its pan-tilt mounted optics.
Tested sun tracker. We conducted a series of tests with the sun
tracker to determine the proper offset and compare its performance to
the position estimator, which integrates a gyro to determine the
rover’s orientation. The sun tracker is still occasionally off in its
orientation estimate but its results track very closely with the
inertial estimate. Some issues still remain as we discover when the
robot is stationary but the solar orientation estimate slowly
changes. Since it is an absolute measurement from a single image of the
sky it cannot drift so some problems remain.
Navigated autonomously. We exercised Zoe today navigating autonomously
between locations around the mine site. We are working to better tune
the stereo vision system as it occasionally sees phantom obstacles that
it then navigates around. We also fabricated “eyebrows” for the
navigation cameras to block glare from late day sun. The performance at
reaching goals is mostly acceptable but accuracy could improve based on
our understanding of what we should be able achieve with Zoe’s
sensors. The graphic illustrates Zoe’s persistence over several hundred
meters in reaching goals (all were met) despite having to wander around
real and the occasional phantom obstacle.
• Move Zoe to the "landing site"
• Conduct autonomous science and navigation experiments
Morning: Partly cloudy, cool 9C, light wind, 15kph, dry humidity 20%
Afternoon: Clearing some stratus clouds, warm 26C, humidity 30%
Evening: Clear, cool 10C, calm, humidity 30%
Quote of the Day
"Si, claro. … si, claro, … si, perfecto." "Claro." "Yeah, perfecto."