Student Activity #1: Driving Blind
Responsibility: to create the mission site and execute commands
to the rover.
Specialty: executing rover commands.
Limitations: you will not know the rover's destination and must
command it exactly as directed by the Navigation
- Learn the responsibilities of the other teams.
- Determine how video images will be transferred to the classroom from
the mission site. You may deliver a video tape from a camcorder, link to
a television in the classroom, employ a wireless video device, or use a
computer-centered video device (such as QuickCam).
- Create the site where the rover will perform its mission. The site
should include rocks, boulders, and sand, be in a secret location, have
sufficient light for the camera to operate, and can be maintained throughout
the mission. Make the site appear like Mars
terrain. Keep the site manageable, as in this example
from another class's mission.
- Place "reference markers" every 45° such that they are
the same distance from the camera. Make the markers read like compass headings
(0°, 45°, 90°, etc.) so the ground teams can tell how much
you have turned the camera during panning.
- Make a scale map of the site showing the location of each rock. Be
sure to mark the location of the camera on the map.
- Place camera in a location that will be consistent throughout the mission.
- Work with the Navigation team to
practice executing their command sequences and transmitting camera images.
Note: you will not be told the objective of the mission (which rock to
- Submit a (short) status report to the Publications
team during the project.
- Turn off the camera while the rover is moving. Execute rover commands
exactly as given you. Turn camera on when rover has reached its destination.
- Transfer video to Mission Operations
and await further instructions.
- Repeat execution of commands as requested by Mission Operations.
- Report your observations to the Publications
team at the conclusion of the mission. Outline the procedure you used
to create the mission site, how well commands were executed, whether you
think the mission was successful, how you contributed to the mission, and
how your work related to the science experiment. Tell what you thought
the experiment was, whether it was deployed properly, if you think the
data is reliable, and if you think the Science team's conclusion is justified.
- Prepare a poster of your report to discuss and present to your classmates.
- Keep it simple--execute "uplinked" commands exactly
- Practice with the rover until you achieve a high level of precision
in command execution.
- Avoid telling the location of the Lander site and details of rover