18 April 2016

Sols 1313-1315: Full MAHLI wheel imaging

Posted by Ryan

Tactical planning was a bit hectic today as we reacted to yesterday’s change in the near-term science goals, but the team quickly determined what is feasible and put together a good plan.  There are no good brushable targets in the arm workspace, so the DRT will not be used.  Rather, we selected 3 targets for MAHLI imaging and APXS measurements of natural surfaces.  I’m MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead today, and have been very busy!

The Sol 1313 plan starts with a mid-day ChemCam observation of the sky and Mastcam images of the Sun to measure the amount of dust in the atmosphere.  The arm will be deployed that afternoon to take MAHLI images of “Kasane” and “Uau,” on either side of a bright/dark boundary in the outcrop.  MAHLI will then take pictures of another bedrock target dubbed “Onesi” and of the rover wheels.  The APXS will be placed on Onesi for a couple evening integrations, then on Uau for an overnight integration.

Early the next morning, Navcam will search for clouds and Mastcam will measure dust again by imaging the Sun.  Later that morning, MAHLI will take pictures of the REMS ultraviolet sensor, which is done periodically to see how much dust is on the sensor.  Then the remote sensing instruments get busy:  Mastcam will take a multispectral image of “Gariep,” a few rocks that were broken/crushed by the rover wheels, then ChemCam and Mastcam will observe Uau, Kasane and a bedrock target named “Kolmanskop.”  The RMI will acquire a 5×1 mosaic of Mount Sharp, Mastcam will take stereo images of the “Rasthoff” area and image the Sun again, and Navcam will search for clouds.  Finally, the APXS will be placed on Kasane for an overnight integration, in parallel with a SAM scrubber cleaning activity.

On Sol 1315, the rover will complete the full set of MAHLI wheel images, bumping in between images to ensure that all parts of the wheels are imaged.  The usual set of post-drive images will then be acquired to set us up for planning on Monday, when we will probably drive again.

by Ken Herkenhoff

Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.