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Sev talks about SAFER at Paranal

Sev talks about SAFER at Paranal

Just before we left Sev (RAL Space) the project manager of SAFER gave a talk to people at the Paranal Observatory. There were some projector problems in the beginning so the recording starts rather suddenly. Also once again sorry about the quality the light levels at ESO have to be kept low and we were not equipped for low light recording. Anyway enjoy the talk:

ESA publication on SAFER

Today ESA published the 3rd article on the SAFER field tests, please visit the ESA website:

Intermission – The Atacama

After the post on Guillermo’s talk we felt that we should share a bit more about the location of the SAFER trials the Atacama desert. Gerd Hudepohl from ESO has used the chance of working within this amazing place to document some of the most interesting and amazing parts with his skills in photography. We invite you to visit his website and look at his gallery to see more of Chile, the Atacama, life in the Atacama and the Paranal Observatory:

And to find out even more, there is a nice piece on youtube about the Atacama:

SAFER team celebrate

SAFER team celebrate

The work is far from over, the study team will continue analysing data and publishing results but for now the field trial part of the trial is over. Both the Atacama team and RCC celebrates the end of the successful trials.

credit: Gerd Hudepohl (ESO)

note: this in not the entire RCC team
credit: Lorraine Moody (Catapult)

No burst tyres, dust devils or bears can stop these teams.

ESO publication on SAFER project

ESO has published a news article on the SAFER trials. Note that this was the second trial in the Atacama, about one and a half year ago a different consortium completed the SEEKER long range navigation trials not far from where SAFER operated. For the ESO publication please visit the ESO website:

Large crowd gathers to see Bridget off

Large crowd gathers to see Bridget off

It is time for Bridget to leave after many long hard days out in the desert. But this last day is the day for celebration and many people from the Paranal Observatory gather to watch Bridget’s last traverse before she needs to go back in the shipping crate.

Paranal staff gathers to see the rover. Even the chef is there!

RCC today – 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)

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)