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RCC 11th of October – Mark Woods

It’s been an intense but exciting few days at the RCC with operations running from early morning to late at night. The team are based in the CATAPULT centre and are making full use of the large video wall to display data from the sensors and 3D planning tools. Each day begins with a review of the previous sol’s uplinked data in order to allow the team to select new targets or trajectories for further investigation. For the early phases we were joined by senior observers from missions such as ExoMars. The team must quickly check Bridget’s current position given that it must be removed from the site overnight. They then consider good observation points for instruments and safe paths for navigation. A key goal for SAFER was the desire to use information from the various sensors in an integrated way. This allows individual instruments teams to see where their data originated from and allows scientists to understand the terrain in context. Once a plan has been prepared it is dispatched to the LCC team who then forward it onto the rover. Plans can take anywhere from 15 mins to several hours to execute. Whilst awaiting the data to be uplinked from the Rover, the team start to prepare for the next plan and explore what if scenarios in case of any issues. As we enter our last day it’s clear that this has been a fantastic learning experience for all involved. As our lead scientist Susanne noted we had our own “flight moment” on Thursday when the WISDOM team got to see their data displayed in 3D for the first time on Thursday evening. Looking forward to the next field trial! RCC Over and out.

Leander (aged 12) dispatches our final plan! credit: Mark Woods (Scisys)

Leander (aged 12) dispatches our final plan!
credit: Mark Woods (Scisys)

Joanneum Research  DEM integrated into the 3D environment. credit: Mark Woods (Scisys)

Joanneum Research DEM integrated into the 3D environment.
credit: Mark Woods (Scisys)

WISDOM team exploring their 3D GPR scans. credit: Mark Woods (Scisys)

WISDOM team exploring their 3D GPR scans. left to right: Wolf-Stefan Benedix, Sophie Dorizon, Marco Mϋtze, André-Jean Vieau
credit: Mark Woods (Scisys)

Jorge Vago from ESA discussing site exploration strategies. credit: Iain Wallace (Scisys)

Jorge Vago from ESA discussing site exploration strategies.
credit: Iain Wallace (Scisys)

Susanne our lead Geologist pointing to candidate drilling sites credit: Mark Woods

Susanne our lead Geologist pointing to candidate drilling sites
credit: Mark Woods (Scisys)

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RCC last night

RCC last night

RRC team hard at work generating the new plans:

Using the video wall display at Catapult the RCC team is looking at the data and planning the rovers next move credit: Iain Wallace (Scisys)

Using the video wall display at Catapult the RCC team is looking at the data and planning the rovers next move
credit: Iain Wallace (Scisys)

The RCC team has to plan every step carefully as they they will have to make the next plan from the data they aquired during the previous plan. credit: Iain Wallace (Scisys)

The RCC team has to plan every step carefully as they they will have to make the next plan from the data they aquired during the previous plan.
credit: Iain Wallace (Scisys)

RCC team talking to Sev from LCC, no critical data is shared just a quick catch-up:

Sev is on screen during RCC daily catch-up credit: Iain Wallace (Scisys)

Sev is on screen during RCC daily catch-up
credit: Iain Wallace (Scisys)

Because Chile is 4 hours behing the UK the RCC crew has to has to stay late to make the most of the day. Luckily they are not without supplies:

Staying at work till 9pm is a long work-day. Luckily pizza is the reward for the hard work. credit: Mark Woods (Scisys)

Staying at work till 9pm is a long work-day. Luckily pizza is the reward for the hard work.
credit: Mark Woods (Scisys)

This is the RCC

This is the RCC

We have just completed traverse “sol3”, meaning the path we have done up to now would have taken 3 Martian days on Mars. We are now in stand-by waiting for the RCC team to analyse the results and upload the new plan.

we have received an image from the UK which shows the RCC in action. credit: Luc Joudrier (ESA)

we have received an image from the UK which shows the RCC in action.
credit: Luc Joudrier (ESA)