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Day 4 of the Mars Rover Field Trials

24 September 2009 - Field Trials Day 4

The weather was spectacularly good today, providing a variety of lighting conditions and comfortable conditions for the field trials team.

The day at the quarry began at 7.30am with fitting the ExoMars Stereo PanCam and High Resolution Camera prototypes to the mast.

Initialisation of the wireless link between the control centre proved unreliable so later in the day, an ethernet cable was wired directly into the on-board computer that services the PanCam. This aided progress and resolved the issue of link unreliability.

A problem occured with one of the Rover wheel encoders which hampered mobility though sufficient locomotion was eventually achieved to satisfy the visiting BBC and Channel 4 reporting teams.

Rock recognition algorithms were exercised with mixed success though tuning of the identification parameters improved matters late in the day.

PanCam filtered multi-spectral and high resolution images of good quality were captured once the best exposure settings had been established.  This has set an excellent basis for tomorrows image gathering and it is expected that a significant set of images will be gathered then.

The good news that the University of Surrey would be on site tomorrow at 7.30am with their cameras was received around lunchtime.

To optimise the opportunities to gather image data, the PanCam Team will be operating independently from a 1.7m static tripod setup with a portable auxiliary power supply.

The Rover-mounted Surrey cameras will be taking images at 5m intervals for the length of the test site and several passes are planned.

The weather forecast is good for tomorrow so we look forward to a fruitful day of activities in the quarry.



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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