Expedition Report from William Cassidy


Nov. 26, 1998, Thursday: Patriot Hills Camp

Day was sunny with no wind. The Americans among us wished each other a happy Thanksgiving Day.
Matt and Stewart left around 10 a.m. in the morning to test patterned search programs on blue ice. They had good success with 3 farming and 2 spiral search patterns. There was a problem with one farming pattern, perhaps becauswe the initial command was given with the robot's wheels in a turning position. Stewart also demonstrated a manuever in which Nomad deviated from a search pattern, as it would do if it sensed something interesting that was not in its direct path, and then returned to the same spot to continue its programmed search pattern.

After lunch, Mike came out to join Stewart and Matt. He videtaped Nomad doing two farming patterns (proof of the process). They then drove Nomad to a series of small embayments in the ice sheet next to Patriot Hills. Nomad cruised around in these inlets and recorded panospheric data for Matt's landmark-based navigation program. This enabled Matt to complete about 80% of his planned research. Mike videotaped this activity also. After dinner, Matt, Mike and Sib carried out traction experiments until 3 a.m. All in all, many accomplishments for this day.
 We have gone into what is essentially a 24-hour schedule with Nomad, with people working very long hours, taking turns with the robot, and sleeping when they can. We have been favored, finally, with a string of very good days and, of course, we have 24 hours of daylight every day.