National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
News & Events
Mars Exploration Rovers Update
Mars Exploration Rovers Update
26 Oct 2002
(Source: Cornell University)

http://athena.cornell.edu/news/index.html

Week Ending October 26, 2002

Good news: We seem to have solved the "step-and-settle" problem that's been giving us fits for several weeks. The trouble here was that the mirror at the top of our mast didn't seem to be moving quickly enough. Our Mini-TES instrument is supposed to tell the mirror what to do. When Mini-TES is ready for the mirror to move, it sends out a signal that means "okay, I'm done taking data for a little while... go ahead and move the mirror." The mirror has two tenths of a second to get to its new position. Mini-TES then sends out a second, different message that says "okay, you'd better be done moving the mirror, because I'm going to start taking data again." And it starts to collect data, assuming that the mirror has stopped moving.

What we thought was going on was that the mirror was moving too slowly, making the data blurry because it was still moving when Mini-TES started to collect data. But what was really going on was that the mirror was ignoring the first message completely, and starting to move when it got the second message! That'll pretty much guarantee that you're going to get blurry data, no matter how fast you move the mirror.

We were afraid for a little while that this would be a nasty problem to fix, but Jason Gates found a very elegant solution that involved just putting a couple of tiny "haywires" onto one of the rover's electronics boards. We still have a little more testing to do, but it looks like one of our unpleasant problems has now been found and fixed.

News Archive Search  Go!
Show  results per page
 
 
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 1 Nov 2002