After yesterday’s dust devil we have rebuilt the LCC this morning. Special thanks to Raul for providing the new hopefully more wind resistant tent.
To calibrate WISDOM a highly reflective surface is put under it (the golden foil) to get the maximum reflection. After the calibration WISDOM can see up to 10 meters underground depending on the soil type.
Loading up Bridget for day 2
credit: Elie Allouis (Astrium)
Bridget goes to Mars
In the morning Bridget left her comfy shed behind. The pick-up track is not quite as good as the Russian Proton rocket that will carry ExoMars to Mars but it does to job of cutting across the Atacama to the trial site. good luck Bridget!
Andy talks autonomy
The terrain near the LCC is very Mars-like. The dense boulder fields test the navigation capability of the rover. Andy from Scisys explains what Bridget is doing during these pre-trial tests:
Bridget’s first run near the LCC
Yesterday Bridget spent a day at the LCC, running some navigation and locomotion tests. This was the first time Bridget encountered the dense rocky terrain of the deep Atacama desert.
How fast can a Mars rover go?
The question should really be how fast a Mars rover needs to go. When you are exploring another planet the saying “slow and steady wins the race” is especially true. On Mars rovers need to manage the limited resources they have in terms of power and processing power. During a scenario like SAFER the science team still needs time to make the correct decisions on which way to proceed, scans need to be completed with the cameras, radar and other instruments and the rover needs to navigate safely in unexplored terrain.
Imagine it like you are exploring a newly discovered cave, it is dark, slippery and no-one has been there before. If you want your exploration to be a success you will need to proceed with care at a steady slow place and look around with your light often. Similarly our rover explores slowly and steadily, and uses it’s instrument suit to scan the terrain often.
Have a look at the following video to see how fast a Mars rover moves:
This was a short test near the LCC with navigation but without any of the instruments.