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Back to work, Post-hiatus but pre-entry
fredk
post Aug 25 2007, 04:10 PM
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I think the return to driving deserves a new topic for Oppy. According to this new release, Oppy is back up to 300 Whrs, and had a small cleaning event! smile.gif

The release also gives a surprizing reason for the drive to the rim:
QUOTE
One reason the rover team chose to drive Opportunity closer to the crater rim was to be prepared, if the pace of dust accumulation on the solar panels increases, to drive onto the inner slope of the crater. This would give the rover a sun-facing tilt to maximize daily energy supplies. The drive was also designed to check performance of the rover's mobility system, so it included a turn in place and a short drive backwards.
That explains why they drove to this point on the rim - if they enter they'll face south, as it's still southern summer.
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Guest_Sunspot_*
post Aug 25 2007, 08:51 PM
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No more messing about on the rim or the plains, I think they really need to get Opportunity into the crater as soon as possible - it is, after all what they spent a couple of years driving for. The same with Spirit at Home Plate, the rover has been planning on driving up onto HP in the "next few days" for about 5 months.

One lesson from this dust storm is that they REALLY could lose the rovers at any time. Opportunity may have literally been a few watt hours of energy away from death.
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fredk
post Aug 26 2007, 04:11 PM
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New nav/pancam imagery peering over the rim into the abyss tosol at exploratorium. It looks to me like we've got dust on the left pancam, along the right edge of the frame. I'm sure it's not vignetting - pancams have only negligible vignetting. A sky view would confirm this. So it seems both left navcam and left pancam have been affected by dust.

You can see it easily comparing L2 and R2:
Attached Image
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Tesheiner
post Aug 26 2007, 08:54 PM
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These new set of images was part of the usual "post-drive" imaging sequences.
Obviously, no drive was attempted but either cancelled or aborted.
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fredk
post Aug 28 2007, 05:20 PM
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Some new images down, pointed at the sky, presumably to characterize the dust on the pancams. Remember there's stretching involved in these jpegs, which probably exagerates the effect. But clearly both left and right pancam are affected:
http://qt.exploratorium.edu/mars/opportuni...00P2897L7M1.JPG
http://qt.exploratorium.edu/mars/opportuni...00P2897R1M1.JPG
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fredk
post Aug 28 2007, 06:31 PM
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And some news from New Scientist:
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Opportunity has also started driving and was expected to arrive as early as Monday at a spot on Victoria crater's rim, where it will make some new observations. These will help the team evaluate science targets in the crater and possible routes to get inside.

Opportunity is getting about 300 watt-hours of energy per day, more than twice the level it was getting during the worst part of the storms. But it is still not enough to start the descent into the crater, Arvidson says: "We want to make sure if we have some mobility problems that there's energy to spare to get out of the problem areas."
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Tesheiner
post Aug 29 2007, 12:48 PM
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Opportunity drove a little bit tosol (1278).
One more step and were are into the crater!

Attached Image

Edited: Added this Q&D (quick and dirty) navcam mosaic.
Attached Image


This post has been edited by Tesheiner: Aug 29 2007, 01:14 PM
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Tman
post Aug 29 2007, 02:17 PM
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It seems we have only to wait for a (safe) rise of the battery charging now and the ride will begin...


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gallen_53
post Aug 29 2007, 07:12 PM
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QUOTE (fredk @ Aug 26 2007, 04:11 PM) *
It looks to me like we've got dust on the left pancam, along the right edge of the frame. I'm sure it's not vignetting - pancams have only negligible vignetting. A sky view would confirm this. So it seems both left navcam and left pancam have been affected by dust.


Is this dust degradation now a permanent "fact of life" or is there any possibility that image quality could be restored, e.g. by a dust devil passing over the rover?
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Malmer
post Aug 29 2007, 07:20 PM
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QUOTE (gallen_53 @ Aug 29 2007, 09:12 PM) *
Is this dust degradation now a permanent "fact of life" or is there any possibility that image quality could be restored, e.g. by a dust devil passing over the rover?


its possible to remove the dust by using several averaged skyframes and use them as a flatfield. but it might also be a bit of scattering in the dust that causes blooming and that is harder to remove.
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Guest_Edward Schmitz_*
post Aug 29 2007, 10:32 PM
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There have been several instance of dust collecting on the Haz Cams and then dissipating. That's certainly possible here. However, it looks much worse than previous occurances. The effect on the right edge kinda looks to me like the dust was able to get into part of the camera. If that is the case, I think it would be permanent. Recent images have shown that it's not too sever. In a worst case, they could stop relying on the affected parts of the frame. Take images that overlap more. Use it as though it were an 800X1024 sensor.

I would like to know if the dust has invaded miniTES. That would be a much bigger problem. That could range from reduced sensitivity to completely unusable.
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dvandorn
post Aug 30 2007, 02:46 AM
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QUOTE (gallen_53 @ Aug 29 2007, 02:12 PM) *
Is this dust degradation now a permanent "fact of life" or is there any possibility that image quality could be restored, e.g. by a dust devil passing over the rover?

One more time -- there have never, ever, even once, even just maybe, *ever* been any dust devils spotted anywhere near Opportunity. All of Oppy's cleaning events have come from straight-line winds.

I know I sound like a broken record on this sometimes, but it's like wishing for a nice, refreshing blizzard in the middle of the Sahara, or expecting tornadoes at the South Pole. Some types of weather are just not observed at some locations, and dust devils are just not observed at or near Oppy's landing site.

That said, I have high hopes that the inner slopes of Victoria will intensify local winds (that old racetrack pattern) and that by dipping down into her, Oppy will be able to avail herself of cleaning events regularly.

-the other Doug


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“The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right.” -Mark Twain
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CosmicRocker
post Aug 30 2007, 04:53 AM
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I like the "back to work" concept. Things are about to get interesting.

One thing I have been meaning to do for a long time is to take Tim Parker's nice HiRise contour map of Victoria and use it to make a scale that we can import as a movable layer on top of the contour map in an image editing program. I wanted to have a transparent scale that I could drag over the contour lines to measure the surface slopes in degrees.

To make a scale that would be useful over the whole map, it became apparent that it needed to be a circular scale, with the radius scaled in degrees. I'm attaching the scale, just in case someone else might like to measure slopes on that contour map. The scale was made for the full scale HiRise images at 25 cm/px. Note that some of the recent JPL route maps with contours are at other scales. To use the scale, put the center dot on a contour line, and measure the angle to an adjacent contour line. I labelled the three outer circles as 5, 10, and 15 degrees, but it became too cluttered trying to label the remaining circles. All of the circles are 5 degrees apart, so the circles in the scale are 5, 10,15,20, 25,30, and 35 degrees. It helps to zoom in to about 200% on the map when using this scale.

I am also attaching a crop of the contour map from Duck Bay. I used the scale overlay to measure the slope of the surface across parts of Duck Bay and I posted the measurements in degrees on that map. Using the scale, or studying the angles posted on the map, you can quickly get a feel for the slope angles by looking at the distance between the contour lines.
Attached Image

Attached Image


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...Tom
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fredk
post Aug 30 2007, 03:29 PM
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Thanks for the template, Rocker, I'm sure I'll find it useful.

There was a decent gust between sols 1275 and 1277, visible in the front hazcams. That appears to be after the gust we've heard about through official channels, so we can hope for a further increase in power.

http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all...00P1151L0M1.JPG
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all...00P1151L0M1.JPG

And a hazy, near-sunset view of the sun from 1275:
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gallen_53
post Aug 30 2007, 11:06 PM
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QUOTE (dvandorn @ Aug 30 2007, 02:46 AM) *
I know I sound like a broken record on this sometimes, but it's like wishing for a nice, refreshing blizzard in the middle of the Sahara, or expecting tornadoes at the South Pole.


A zillion years ago, I was touring Saqqara, Egypt in the beginning of summer (not a good time to be there!). Needless to say, it was beyond hot. My brains were just getting cooked to a golden brown when this refreshing breeze came in from the west. I looked to the west and saw nothing but Saharan dune fields. I remember thinking at the time that it seemed a bit odd ...
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