Mark and Lorenzo flew out today, along with Pete Worden and Chris McKay. We saw them off in the morning, taking some group pictures and walking out to the runway. We couldn't resist the obligatory group picture with the robot.
From left to right across the back: Mark Allan, Vinh To, Hans Utz, Pete Worden, Pascal Lee, and Lorenzo Flueckiger. Across the front row: Susan Lee, K10 Red, Ping Pong (Pascal's dog), and Matt Deans.
After seeing off part of our team, we went back to Drill Hill to finish the survey with K10 Black. A film crew from The Discovery Channel came along and filmed our work today. This of course had the unfortunate but expectable "demonstration effect", i.e. after performing nearly flawlessly for two weeks, K10 Black had two mechanical problems today, as well as some issues with the stereo cameras. Here are Susan and Vinh repairing the steering gearbox in the field:
After a couple of field repairs on the steering gearboxes and the addition of a shade to reduce lens flare for the stereo cameras, we ended up having our most productive day yet for site survey, with K10 Black driving just a few meters shy of 6 kilometers! Here's another look at K10 surveying Drill Hill.
We finished mapping the Western part of Drill Hill today. We had broken up the hill into 3 regions, with two plans for each region (East-West transects, and North-South transects) , so we're roughly 5/6 complete.
The mood around camp changed quite a bit again today with the change in personnel.
Weather: cooperated once again. Pretty sunny and clear, not too cold. I didn't check the official temperature.
Quote of the Day: "The Man With the Gigapixel Camera." For some reason, this picture of Hans taking a Gigapan of Drill Hill reminds me of the Russian classic "The Man with the Movie Camera", if in a remote, Arctic, space robot field test kind of way...