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Field Report

April 18, 2003
Salar Grande, Atacama Desert, Chile

- Autonomous navigation and power measurement experiments
- Operations with mission planner/health monitor
- Visual odometry data collection
- SPI data collection
- Fluorescence imaging instrument data collection

Status and Progress

- Ran mission planner/executive and health monitor. The mission
planner generated traverses today and operated smoothly with the health
monitor. The health monitor detects fault conditions in the system and
has been regularly been seeing the roll and pitch of Hyperion hitting
limits as is makes its way through rolling terrain. We extended the
safe operating limits to 20° as we are regularly climbing 15° slopes.
The health monitor also follows progress on the mission plan and, when
the rover falls behind schedule, initiates replanning of the upcoming
waypoints--this all happens automatically onboard Hyperion. This is
working well and we are running plans that execute several hundred
meters of traverse in a single command to Hyperion.
- Drove Hyperion. In the course of climbing a sandy slope Hyperion
blew the last remaining 4 Amp fuse. This was replaced by a 6 Amp fuse
(still conservative) and the hill climb continued. Today's traverses
reached 1213m. With 8922m of traverse data recorded this field season,
including stereo imagery, estimated and ground-truth position, and
power, we are on schedule to collect 10km of autonomous navigation data
before we begin conducting rover science operations in coordination
with the remote science team at NASA Ames Research Center. Also of
note today, we aborted one traverse and reversed course after a mission
plan took Hyperion up to a ridge on the west side of the fault defining
our test area. The wind speed on the ridge was 69kph and Hyperion
experienced winds of 55kph behind the ridge at the point were it backed
down off the ridge. The reason that the mission plan led Hyperion onto
the ridge is under investigation.
- Analyzing map registration. We suspect that the absolute position of
the digital elevation model is off by about 70 meters despite our best
efforts to obtain ground control points that were used to tie the DEM
to latitude/longitude. This was clearly evidenced today when Hyperion
attempted to reach a waypoint well beyond a ridge that the mission
planner should have avoided as intraversable.
- Collected SPI data set. At the end of the day today we relocated
Hyperion to the area of science site number two and collected a sample
stereo panoramic images sequence for the remote science team to use for
training purposes.
- Testing fluorescence imaging. Navigation, SPI and sun sensor cameras
continue to perform well so we are now reconfiguring our firewire
network. The last component to bring online is the fluorescence imager
and component testing is occuring tonight.

- Operations with mission planner/health monitor

Morning: Clear, light dew
Afternoon: Windy
Evening: Clear, cool

Humidity Insolation Temperature

Weather data is from April 17, the last complete day of data, although
we did lose battery power between 6:00-8:00am.

Vulture Count: 4

Quote of the Day
" I can't, I can't, I can't stop dumping, I can't, I can't, I can't stop
dumping co-o-ore."


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