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Day 3 of the Mars Rover Field Trials

23 September 2009 - Field Trials Day 3

The weather continued to favour us again, beginning with overcast skies before bright sunny periods, ending the day with cloudy conditions once again.


The morning began at 8am when the van was loaded with additional support items needed for the day as well as items identified as required from the previous day.

Despite having to jump start the van due to a flat battery, the team was at the quarry setting up the control gazebo by 9.15am, establishing mains power setup and an internet connection in short time.

The Omnidirectional Stereo Camera pair brought to the trial by the Department of Cybernetics of the Czech Technical University (CZUT) was mounted on the 1.4m mast in a forward/rearward configuration providing near 360 degree coverage of the test site. Image sets were captured over a three hour period with the Rover executing various manoeuvres, including point turning and obstacle negotiation.

Rover-to-control communications were close to being established before lunch and this should be resolved this afternoon.


We received the news that one participant and her equipment would not be arriving at the quarry site until Friday and that the other would not be arriving until the end of the today. Both were due to last-minute technical hitches – a common occurrence with state-of-the-art development models. Nevertheless we continued to image in the afternoon using the CZUT system and gathered sufficient material to complete the imaging brief for that instrument – a good achievement. We began the installation of an early prototype stereo camera pair with pan and tilt unit provided by UK company SciSys and captured some video footage on a third camera mounted at the front of the Rover platform.

The day ended with a discussion of the installation on the mast head of the University of Aberystwyth’s Pan Cam unit which we will install tomorrow morning early. Representatives from the Mullard Space Science Laboratory (UCL) and DLR in Germany will also have their imaging units fitted to the Rover for some image runs in the afternoon. We hear that the BBC and Channel 4 television crews will be visiting tomorrow and perhaps a film crew from the German TV channel ZDF so it will be a day busy, beginning at 7.30am.



Day 1 of the Mars Rover Field Trials Day 4 of the Mars Rover Field Trials
Day 2 of the Mars Rover Field Trials Day 5 of the Mars Rover Field Trials
Day 3 of the Mars Rover Field Trials
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