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Thread: Curiosity Surface Operations

  1. #301
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    These look like blueberries from Opportunity.

    http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-ima...000C0_DXXX.jpg

  2. #302
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    Looks like space dots to me. Mmm, space dots.

  3. #303
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  4. #304
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    Interesting stuff. So if they just demosiaced them before posting, it would be fine.

  5. #305
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squink View Post
    That seems...about the worst possible way of doing things.

    Done this way, there's generally no properly exposed portion of the image that doesn't have a large amount of single-pixel detail, high frequency content that's prone to loss and which drives compressed size up. Compression artifacts mix the channels together, and the overall compression ratio is reduced, requiring lower quality settings to achieve a given image size. If they just re-ordered the pixels to group the pixels belonging to each channel together (dividing the image into 4 single-channel sub-images), they'd get smaller images with better quality and completely eliminate mixing of the channels.

    edited to add:
    On the other hand, maybe they just don't care so much about the quality of the visible light images. Images taken with the other filters are in bands the Bayer filter grid is transparent to, and such pixel reordering would be of no benefit and a bit detrimental to compression.

  6. #306
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    That seems...about the worst possible way of doing things..
    It's the way your cell phone, DSLR, webcam or almost every other color camera you've ever used works.

    The link you're missing is that whilst these particular images were downlinked losslessly, they're posted to the web in JPG form.

  7. #307
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    Quote Originally Posted by djellison View Post
    It's the way your cell phone, DSLR, webcam or almost every other color camera you've ever used works.
    No, it's not. Compression is done after demosaicing in all those applications, on an RGB image where each channel has been interpolated to fill the whole image plane, instead of a grayscale one containing a mix of pixels from each channel.


    Quote Originally Posted by djellison View Post
    The link you're missing is that whilst these particular images were downlinked losslessly, they're posted to the web in JPG form.
    They were almost certainly not. The cameras have built-in JPEG compression for a reason, and they've got plenty of other things to spend their limited bandwidth on, especially right now as they're testing, calibrating, and configuring the various instruments.

  8. #308
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    The images posted online in greyscale with the obvious bayer pattern are downlinked losslesly. Don't believe me? Go over to UMSF and chat with mcapplinger - the lead software engineer for MastCam.

  9. #309
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    The NASA TV schedule has a "NASA Science Curiosity Mission News Conference" scheduled for today 8/27 at 5 PM EDT (2100 GMT).
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  10. #310
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    Quote Originally Posted by djellison View Post
    The images posted online in greyscale with the obvious bayer pattern are downlinked losslesly. Don't believe me? Go over to UMSF and chat with mcapplinger - the lead software engineer for MastCam.
    Lossless compression avoids mixing of channels, but the poor compression remains. Lossless JPEG uses the neighboring pixels to predict the value of a given pixel, then compresses the difference from the prediction with a lossless algorithm. Rearranging the pixels to produce 3 or 4 tiled fields would still make the predictors perform better and give better compression with no loss of information.

    Why they are then putting lossy-compressed (at just 70% quality, even), still un-demosaiced images on the "raw images" site is another question...trying to reduce storage or bandwidth by not giving real raw images is perfectly acceptable, but this is a decidedly sub-optimal way of doing it.

  11. #311
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    this is a decidedly sub-optimal way of doing it.
    That's what I'm trying to tell you. It's just Mars EPO's way of doing things.

    The compression of those grey-with-beyer images is happening AFTER they get on the ground.

    It's just for raw-on-the-web. Ideally, they would upload PNG's/GIF's etc.

  12. #312
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    They sure like their thumbnails lol

  13. #313
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    The thumbnails are a superb way of checking that an image was taken properly, that it's pointed and exposed properly, and is safely onboard.

    In the case of MARDI, MastCam and MAHLI - their ability to take images vastly exceeds the possible downlink to Earth - so they take way more images than they can downlink, and choose the best to bring down based on those thumbnails.

    They take about 2% of the bandwidth of a full image - they're actually a brilliantly efficient way of doing things.

    Interesting point

    A full thumbnail for MastCam is 192 x 144

    A full frame image from the IMP camera on Mars Pathfinder was 256 x 256

    We've come a long way!

  14. #314
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    Curiosity departs Bradbury Landing - begins Glenelg traverse

    NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has set off from its landing vicinity on a trek to a science destination about a quarter mile (400 meters) away, where it may begin using its drill.

    The rover drove eastward about 52 feet (16 meters) on Tuesday, its 22nd Martian day after landing. This third drive was longer than Curiosity's first two drives combined. The previous drives tested the mobility system and positioned the rover to examine an area scoured by exhaust from one of the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft engines that placed the rover on the ground.

    "This drive really begins our journey toward the first major driving destination, Glenelg, and it's nice to see some Martian soil on our wheels," said mission manager Arthur Amador of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "The drive went beautifully, just as our rover planners designed it."

    Glenelg is a location where three types of terrain intersect. Curiosity's science team chose it as a likely place to find a first rock target for drilling and analysis.

    Image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

    Notice the scour mark near the top of the image.

    East bound and down, loaded up and truckin',
    We're gonna do what they say can't be done.
    We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there.
    I'm east bound, just watch ol' "Bandit" run.


    Time to snag a tracking app...

  15. #315
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    Here we go!

  16. #316
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    A wee dram for setting out and a less wee dram when we get there.

    Glenmorangie it is.

  17. #317
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    Another press conference tomorrow (Thursday) - 1 pm EDT, 10 am PDT:

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.ph...&msource=12276
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  18. #318
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    Someone ask if they are going to take any colour pictures again

  19. #319
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    They're taking lots of color pictures - looks here
    http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/ Look at the Mastcam section.

    They've taken thousands already.

  20. #320
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    9/6 telecon:

    Mike Watkins, Mission Manager, JPL
    Matt Robinson, Lead Engineer for Robotic Arm, JPL
    Joy Crisp, Deputy Project Scientist, JPL
    Aileen Yingst, Deputy Principal Investigator, MAHLI, Planetary Science Institute

    Watkins: About a football field from touchdown point. Continued to do environmental monitoring. Tests of sampling instruments.

    Want to do more of a checkout of instruments at end of arm, called CAP-2. Going to do for about a week but will then be ready for contact science and ready to collect and analyze a sample.

    Showing HiRISE image of where rover currently was before most recent drive on Sol 29. And another image of parachute and backshell. Map showing progress so far, maybe 1/5 or 1/6 of way to Glenelg. Photo looking back at tracks.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  21. #321
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    Robinson: Currently on second sol of 7-8 sols of checkout. Going over design of arm - 5 joints. And instruments at the end: Drill, APXS, CHIMRA, MAHLI, DRT. And elements of rover deck that arm will interact with.

    Short movie showing planned arm activities on Saturday. Activities include a "belly pan". Verify that arm can be positioned relative to playground on rover deck. Take images of MAHLI and APXS calibration targets.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  22. #322
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    Crisp: Two-hour Chemin test. Used SAM instrument to check out Martian atmosphere: cleaned out of Earth atmosphere, caught wind. More ChemCAM checkout but without firing laser. Photo of calibration targets includes a penny - not just for scale, it's really there.

    More short ChemCAM characterization. ChemCAM, NavCAM pointing. Optimize settings.

    Plan is to head toward Glenelg, stop if encounter fine-grained rock or loose, scoopable material. Expect first drilling at Glenelg.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  23. #323
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    Yingst: MAHLI can resolve a grain of talcum powder. Took early image with dust cover on. Showing an image of MAHLI on Mars - says it's cool to have a photo of your camera, not just with your camera. "Beautiful arm tai chi" got us to this position.
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  24. #324
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    Associated Press: Have date for first soil test? Are you moving or not? What's ETA for Glenelg.

    Not driving during CAP-2, for about a week, then head for Glenelg again. Likely that we're going to stop at some point to do APXS and ChemCAM, but haven't picked rock yet. Has to be right composition, also suited for arm to push on it. For scoopable soil, won't know until we'll get to it.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  25. #325
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    CBS Radio News: Any glitches or issues so far?

    None so far. Only surprise is how well it's worked. Tweaking parameters, no cases of performance on Mars differing significantly from performance on Earth.

    When is Curiosity fully operational?

    Everything but arm and sample system now fully operational, since end of CAP-1 around Sol 16. All context science will be cleared at end of CAP-2. Only thing not quite ready for is scooping soil, last thing to do to certify rover.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  26. #326
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    LA Times: When first drilling? What kinds of rocks will you be drilling?

    Will scoop first, a month from now or maybe less. Drilling will be weeks after that - more than a month from now.

    Plan is to go to Glenelg, then turn around and head back to Mount Sharp. Glenelg is last chance to interrogate the bright area and the heavily cratered southeast area. If we find that it's worthy of drilling and drillable, then we'll drill - could be either one or both.

    Sedimentary?

    We don't know - that would be the purpose of drilling, to try to figure out how these rocks were deposited.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  27. #327
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    NPR: Seen any slippage when driving? How far driven?

    Slippage measured by visual odometry, but we haven't been driving in VO mode. Have taken some test images, still evaluating. Blind driving so far, just commanding drive. Believe slippage extremely low so far.

    109 meters/386 feet driven, 82 meters from touchdown site.

    What about the penny?

    Have 1909 penny to commemorate original 2009 launch date. So far as I'm concerned it did belong to someone famous - Ken Edgett, the PI.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  28. #328
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    Irish TV: Look at nonworking wind sensor with MAHLI? Scientists in the back seat with their nose pressed to the window, but anything in vicinity really interesting?

    Difficult angle for MAHLI to reach rear REMS wind boom - not easy, not a priority. Can only get within half-a-meter since we have to wrap around RSM, no clear we can get good images from there. Looking at algorithmic solutions.

    Joy: two main things have intrigued me. MastCAM images of Mount Sharp with structure and layers. Rocks nearby showing rocks nearby that we've not seen before - big mineral grains, light in tone in a dark matrix. Eye-popping but we don't know what it means.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  29. #329
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    Popular Science: ChemCAM, etc., used to establish baseline or just to make sure working?

    Joy: A little bit of both. Getting flats of sky, also calibration, passive and active spectroscopy with ChemCAM (with or without firing laser). Manual/auto focus.


    CBS News: What's crow-flight distance to Glenelg?

    About 400 meters.

    Has MAHLI dust cover moved at all yet? Is pink of cover dust or adhesive?

    Dust cover has not been moved yet, not going to do until sure in a safe environment. Bound to be some dust on lens, but pink color has to do with adhesive used on lens. Will be getting more images to take a better look.

    Space.com: How have driving conditions been so far? Drive farther each sol after CAP-2?

    Driving conditions pretty much as expected. About ready to use VO. Have autonomous modes that let us drive further. But if find science target, will slow down to creep up on it.

    BBC: How much difference does gravity make in moving robotic arm? What if you didn't do these tests? Is this the first real test of Martian air since Viking?

    Matt: We generate "teach points", key arm positions, determine joint angles on Earth. On Mars arm doesn't sag as much, so turret would be at higher position. Flight software attempts to compensate, need to see if it's doing it right.

    Joy: First atmospheric experiment was to measure Florida air. Second measurement richer in Martian atmosphere, will see how effective pumps were in replacing air. First test of Martian air since Viking, with exception of air trapped in Martian meteorites found Earth.

    Planetary Society: [Audio glitch, about dents in wheel?]

    About as expected. Nothing unusual so far. Benign, not giving us any angst.

    Take picture of MastCAM with MAHLI?

    Planned for Sol 31, but will be taken with dust cover on. EDL may be 7 minutes of terror, for those of us on some of these instruments, it's 30 sols of terror.

    Florida Today: When get to Glenelg? How far from Glenelg to Mount Sharp target? How long to get there?

    Consistent driving - not stopping for science - would take a couple of weeks. But will stop for context science.

    Drive to Mount Sharp. Months? A year? Might manage 100 meters/day. Distance about 8 kilometers. Really depends on how interesting science is along the way.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  30. #330
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    Discover Channel: What concentration of methane can be detected? Could be detected with current sample?

    Joy: SAM at best, think parts-per-trillion of methane. Expected amount based on orbital and Earth-based measurements, tens per million. Could measure in this second experiment.

    When results of second sampling?

    Maybe next week, hard to predict.

    EOS Magazine: What science will checked-out instruments be doing while rover sitting?

    Environmental: REMS, RAD, maybe active with DAN. Squeeze in activities that don't interfere with arm checkout.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

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