RCC today – Mark Woods
Oct12

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)

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A visitor this morning
Oct12

A visitor this morning

A visitor this morning

We had a surprise visitor during breakfast today. Even this dry desert is full of life.
credit: Elie Allouis ‎(Astrium)

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More LCC images
Oct12

More LCC images

More LCC images

More LCC images showing the layout of the camp:

Long range wireless pointing to Paranal. We have named the rocks next to the antenna.
credit: Gerd Hudepohl (ESO)

and people hard at work:

A dry and cold morning with limited shelter, but luxury of internet.
credit: Gerd Hudepohl (ESO)

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LCC today
Oct11

LCC today

LCC today

Today is a particularly windy day. To quote Andy: “It is windy, windy, windy, dusty and dry but the sun is out.”
However we have learned from our dust devil experience.
Here is the layout of the new camp:

LCC now using Rauls windproof tent and more cars as windbreaks is ready for the strong winds.

The new LCC layout uses more cars for wind protection, Rauls wind resistant tent and more ropes. We have also moved the wireless antenna to a high beam on a truck to keep it in good visibility of the rover. The trusty generator is doing its work and with the long range wireless we got 2 Mbps down and 3 Mbps uplink to the UK today!

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Bridget on Mars
Oct11

Bridget on Mars

Bridget on Mars

From the beginning it was clear that the Atacama is very similar to Mars visually, but not until you remove the blue of the atmosphere from the photos you realise just how true it is. The following slightly modified images were made by Elie showing of Bridget on this Martian terrain.

Removing the blue colour of the atmosphere gives very much Mars like appearance to images
credit: Elie Allouis ‎(Astrium)

Could have been pictured on Mars, the Atacama shows off the similar visual appearance to Mars
credit: Elie Allouis ‎(Astrium)

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Sweeping the desert
Oct11

Sweeping the desert

Sweeping the desert

Michel and Andy sweeping the desert. credit: Sev Gunes-Lasnet (RAL Space)

Sweeping the dusty Atacama might seem like a futile effort but these sweepers are not removing dust, but removing tyre tracks and footprints, all to preserver the site and not to give out any clues to RCC by accident.

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