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Field Report

April 19, 2003
Salar Grande, Atacama Desert, Chile

- Autonomous navigation and power measurement experiments
- Operations with mission planner/health monitor
- Panoramic visual odometry data collection

Status and Progress
- Exercised mission planner/executive and health monitor.
Ran mission planner/executive and health monitor again today. The
mission planner/executive and health monitor are working well although
we are continuing to improve our operational efficiency. Everything
seemed to come together for several short but complex traverses. In
once instance Hyperion appeared to head straight for an embankment but
once within 30m (the resolution of the DEM) it turned 90° and carefully
skirted along the edge until it reached an area of clear passage.
- Traversed rough terrain. Hyperion traversed relatively rough
terrain today with never a problem from the navigator. We did several
times get stuck on sand slopes but resolving this problem entirely will
involve further new development. In particular we are currently unable
to reason about intermediate scale obstacles. The mission planner
picks a route through digital elevation model with 30m x 30m grid cells
while the navigator models objects down to 15cm. The navigator's field
of view (FOV) limits that scene that is analyzed and so, it is not able
to distinguish obstacles that are continuous across its FOV. We have
learned that for the next field season, we'll need to develop
intermediate scale feature detection and avoidance. The cumulative
total distance traversed in experiment thus far is 10236m.
- Analyzed map registration. We surveyed points along the fault
running parallel to our test area as well as some points along the
ridge and a perpendicular drainage. This will allow us to look for any
error in the translation from the digital elevation model relative
coordinates to latitude and longitude. The registration currently
looks good, as evidenced by the ability of the mission planner to run
the robot along the edge of an escarpment today.
- Completed camera rework. We now believe we have sorted out the last
of Hyperion's imaging problems so that we have all cameras on the
firewire bus running reliably. All eight cameras (2 navigation
cameras, 2 SPI cameras, 3 fluorescence imaging cameras and one sun
sensor) are all coexisting and transmitting images when requested.
- 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. The fluorescence imager is operational
after resolving issues with controlling/powering the lights and the
video bus. First images are very promising with samples of lichen
distinguishable in the 660nm band-pass filter. During the period of
science investigation we will collect fluorescence images at several
sites (at night).

The image above shows an image of a rock with some small colonies of
lichen. It is imaged using a 660nm band-pass filter. Notice that the
lichen fluoresces red (bottom center region) in this image. There is a
bad pixel (white) near the lichen.

- Operations with mission planner/health monitor
- SPI panorama of first science investigation site.

Morning: Clear
Afternoon: Clear, light wind
Evening: Clear, cool

Humidity Insolation Temperature

Weather data is from April 18, the last complete day of data.

Vulture Count: 3

Quote of the Day
" Beep" [Literally]


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