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Field Report

April 10, 2003
Salar Grande, Atacama Desert, Chile

- Log weather data
- Prepare solar experiment
- Assemble Hyperion electronics/sensors
- Checkout and calibration (delayed)
- Select site for first navigation experiments

Status and Progress
- Drove Hyperion. The mobility system is operational and we drove
Hyperion around in a circle using direct control of the motion
- Experienced 32C and 40kph wind, blowing fine sand. Today was a tough
day on people and equipment. It was hot with near constant wind in the
afternoon coating everything in fine dust. It was a challenge to keep
working, for a time we had four people working on laptops in the trucks
as this was the only refuge from the dust.
- Fried hard drive. The calibration of cameras is delayed while we
rebuild a laptop drive system. The cause of the failure was not
apparent but probably unrelated to current conditions.
- Completed electronic assembly of Hyperion except for solar panels.
Hyperion is prepared for first operational tests tomorrow.
- Brought weather station online. We calibrated all sensors and set up
the solar power system. The weather station began logging data at
- Prepared solar power experiment. The experiment with solar power
generation with Si cells (identical to Hyperion) and GaAs cells was
mounted on a pan/tilt mechanism on the weather station tripod. The
pan/tilt drives were found to have slipped on their shaft but this was
repaired. The panel experiment directs the panels in 11 orientations
(east, north, and south azimuth with latitude +15/+0/-15, horizontal,
and sun-pointed) every 15 minutes, varies the load, and records cell
performance (voltage, current and temperature). The integrated
spectrophotometer is operational but a solution for logging data
automatically is still being developed so data must be downloaded
- Selected site for checkout experiments and starting point for
endurance navigation.

- Initial checkout and calibration
- Set up operations tent and communication
- Autonomous navigation and power measurement experiments begin

Morning (7:30am): Clear, 17.8°C, 56% RH, wind 8.9kph (max), 5.7kph
(avg.) from E
Noon (12:00pm): Clear (no haze), 33.1°C, wind 10.2kph (max), 4.4kph
(avg) from SE
Afternoon (3:00pm): Clear, 32.3°C, wind 32.2kph (max), 22.7kph (avg)
from SW
Evening (7:30pm): Clear, 19.74°C, 46.91%RH, Wind 4.72m/s from 343° (NW)



Vulture Count: 2

Quote of the Day
" Today is the first day with sand in my underwear."


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