Peter Coppin | Main menu | Projects | Rover interfaces | Rover science operations center

From the EventScope Lab in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, a science team communicated exploration requests to an autonomous rover named ZoŽ, and explored data returned during traverses through the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. Science investigation included remote biology and geology.

This effort was designed to support the NASA/CMU Life in the Atacama Projects.

The centerpiece of the center was a Science Activity Station, modeled after Mars Exploration Rover Science Activity Stations [Norris et al.,2002] that consisted of two desktop workstations and a dual projector system.

The center supported the EventScope team, members of the rover engineering team, and observers.

The center was fitted with video and audio recording equipment used by onsite observers, wireless Internet access, and teleconferencing units for communicating with off-site team members and a participating science museum.

Science operations in Pittsburgh

ZoŽ rover in desert
The science team began a typical day of rover science operations by reviewing both orbital data products of the region surrounding the rover and data returned by the rover the previous day.

In late afternoon/evening, data was downlinked from the field and loaded into various visualization tools in the  center.

The science team reviewed the data and created a science plan within the EventScope uplink interface [info]. The plan was then reviewed by the team and, once consensus was reached, uplinked to the rover in the field.

Full res

Participants [list in progress]

Project Director and systems engineer for the science operations center: Peter Coppin
Director of the LITA [parent project]: David Wettergreen

Other participants [more accurate list is pending]: Luisa Lu, David Seneker, Kevin McCloskey, Eben Myers, Trey Smith, David Thompson.

References [list in progress]

Norris, J.S., R. Wales, M.W. Powell, P.G. Backes, R.C. Steinke (2002), Mars mission science operations facilities design, paper presented at IEEE Aerospace Conference.]


==> A report about this project that includes references to other aspects of the Life in the Atacama Project is here.