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Field Report

April 26, 2003
Salar Grande, Atacama Desert, Chile

- Public visits to Hyperion
- Endurance test of mission planning/executive and navigator
- Communications system tests ( VHF long range transmission)

Status and Progress

- Demonstrated Hyperion. Today we received visitors from the media and
public. Reporters from the national newspaper and television came to
the site to see Hyperion, discuss our work, and report on this project
in the Atacama. The Compania Minera de Punta de Lobos has provided
support for food, fuel, and internet access. This has been crucial to
our success and is one of reasons why this field season has been so
productive. About 80 people from the company and their families and
friends made the bumpy drive to our testing area to see Hyperion and
ask questions. It was good fun for everyone.
- Conducted endurance navigation experiment. Throughout the day we
continued autonomous navigation collecting data on power and system
performance. Of course since the media and public were present,
Hyperion popped a chain. This hasn't happened since our last media
event two years ago. Hyperion accomplished a series of long traverses
today, each about 500m. They were interrupted by stop commands, the
source of which will require analysis of the telemetry logs as the
fault was not apparent and immediately resolved itself. Hyperion made
over two kilometers of autonomous traverse, some of which involved
navigating through crowds of people.
- Collected localization data. We collected another data set with the
side-view camera for development of visual odometry algorithms.
- Collected high-resolution terrain data. We set up for and began an
exercise to collect data of a patch of terrain at high resolution.
Hyperion will "mow the lawn" recording stereo navigation images so that
we will have a representative terrain patch to use for developing
navigation algorithms.
- Conducted communications experiment. We tested long range VHF data
transmission to a site 35km south over a series of hills. Although
voice communication was established, a reliable data link was not made.

- Terrain model high-resolution data collection.
- Soil mobility and locomotion power experiments.

Morning: Clear
Afternoon: Hazy, slightly overcast
Evening: High clouds, fog at sunset

Humidity Insolation Temperature Wind

Weather data is for April 24, the last complete day. The day was
partially cloudy but not overcast as evidenced by the insolation graph.

Vulture Count: 2

Quote of the Day
" It's moving!"


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