Opportunity Sol 461 (Spirit Sol 481)

Frank Hartman, Jeng Yen, and Khaled Ali are already at the SOWG meeting when I show up, making me the fourth RP in the room. All this for a drive sequence that just steers the wheels to a different position. "We're multiplying," Frank says. "We can each take one milliradian of the turn."

Well, with so many of us around, and the bulk of the work already done yesterday, I suppose I won't have much to do. I do get involved in a discussion about some drive-supporting PANCAM imaging. Blue-stereo images usually give us the sharpest picture, but Elaina McCartney points out that the images will be taken at a particularly warm time of day, and consequently the blue-stereo images will have speckling that might interfere with the analysis we're trying to do. So we switch to the next-best thing, red-stereo. But she also generously volunteers to take a blue-stereo pair as well, just so we can see what the images would look like, in case they might prove useful after all. Despite the large data volume required for this, the SOWG chair, Ed Guinness, shrugs acceptance. "Damn," I say, "it's almost like we're a team here or something."

My easy, laid-back day turns out to be a lot busier than I anticipated. Frank and Jeng go down to the testbed to start testing out the next sequence, and Khaled and I have more work to do on thisol's sequence than we'd thought. Nothing major, just lots of picky little things. Working out the final image pointing. Mucking with the visodom image parameters so we'll get more data. Going over the timing with the TULs. That sort of thing.

Indeed, when lunchtime approaches, we're both too busy to leave. "We need a gofer," I say, and Khaled agrees wholeheartedly, or rather wholestomachedly.

But we're ready in time for all the usual meetings. (I even show an animation at the APAM: the rover sits still for five seconds, then turns the wheels. Woo-hoo. I attach the animation to the uplink report.)

When it's all said and done, not only all four RPs who were there at the SOWG but also Jeff Biesiadecki and Mark Maimone have reviewed it, along with many others, such as Rick Welch. If it takes all this just to steer the wheels now, I don't want to see what happens when we try to drive. It's a far cry from the days when sequencing Opportunity meant: well, we expanded the ├╝ber-macro, there's your 200m drive -- see ya!


Anonymous said...

I thought the blue images were more speckly during morning or evening, because the exposure time would be longer, thus increasing the number of cosmic ray hits.

Is the reason the increased temperature and increased noise?

Scott Maxwell said...

@Anonymous That's my belief, yes.