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Field Report

April 21, 2003
Salar Grande, Atacama Desert, Chile

- Rover science operations at Pampa Nevada

Status and Progress
- Conducted remote science investigation. Today was the first day of science operations in which a team of biologists and geologists located at NASA Ames Research Center are using Hyperion to remotely investigate several locations around Salar Grande. The remote team is behaving as they would during a planetary mission. Each day they uplink a planned traverse and points where each (or all) instrument is to acquire a measurements. The traverse is give to the rover and the image capture is commanded at the appropriate locations. Several additional instruments including a visible and near infra-red spectrometer and a fluorescence microscope are also in the field (although not integrated with the rover) and are being manually deployed when the science plan calls for them. All the data is accumulated and then transmitted to NASA in one single downlink.
- Testing back-up behavior. We quickly implemented a new feature of in the Navigator. When the path forward is blocked, the Navigator now calls up prior terrain images or maps, and evaluates paths behind it. Hyperion then backups up a short distance and re-examines terrain. Terrain evaluation with greater sensitivity to the arcs ahead then proceeds to search for a new path. This is a simple approach that should eliminate many of the faults we have been seeing. We will test the reliability of the approach.
- Debugged communication hardware. The usually reliable communication hardware was behaving oddly today with the communication to the repeater sporatic. We've temporarily removed the repeater and are communicating directly tot he

- Science operations during traverse from Pampa Nevada site to next site
- Collect sun sensor data set

Today: Clear, all day, not a single cloud

Humidity Insolation Temperature Wind

Vulture Count: 3

Quote of the Day
" But, ... I fight like a monkey."


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