We fell short of completing the Drill Hill survey on July 27th. Determined to complete the job we headed back on Saturday morning with our remaining, smaller, team. While we were getting ourselves organized to head out (it always took a while to get everyone ready to get out for the day), I took an ATV up to the runway to gas it up and took this self portrait at the fuel drum.
We finished mapping the hill in the afternoon. K10 Black drove about 3 km to finish the North/South transects on the South side of the hill. It felt good to complete the main objective of executing the full set of coverage plans for Drill Hill. Here are screenshots of Drill Hill coverage pans and the actual rover runs for the four days that it took to complete the coverage:
To completely cover the hill over four days of operations, K10 Black drove a little more than 20 kilometers. This is an average of over 5 km of traverse per day, and all of this was with a minimum of human intervention. The hill itself is about 700 by 800 meters. This is why we consider this type of survey operation to be dense coverage. A rover passing through Drill Hill would drive less than a kilometer and go on to something else, but this kind of survey operation takes many kilometers of driving and lots of data collection in order to thoroughly cover and characterize a site.
At the end of the day we packed up the rover and comms gear in the Humvee and headed back to camp for a late lunch. Some of the EVA Walkback crew were planning to have a late lunch, so we coordinated with them to arrive past lunchtime. We had a slow afternoon and got a start on packing by organizing our work area in the Core.
Later that evening we went back to Drill Hill to retrieve the rover and the Humvee. Pascal and Jesse came along to drive the Humvee and the Mule. Unfortunately I did not take pictures of the caravan driving back to base camp. It was quite a sight.