Space Robotics

Mars Rovers and Orbiter Getting Smarter

Posted 29 Sep 2006 at 04:02 UTC by steve Share This

According to a BBC Science News story, NASA is sending software updates to the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers and the Odyssey orbiter that will give them increased autonomy. In the case of the rovers, this means they will now be able to pick out which images are of interest to human scientists, such as photos of clouds or dust devils. Previously all the images had to be sent to Earth for humans to sift through, looking for the occasional glimpse of a dust devil. Meanwhile, the Odyssey will now be able to look for temperature anomalies, rapid changes in polar caps, emerging dust storms, and formation of water-ice clouds. Autonomous image collection by robot probes has proven successful in other NASA craft such as the Earth Observing-1 satellite. For more details see the JPL news release on the Mars mission extension and software upgrades.

Choosy Space Robots., posted 30 Sep 2006 at 12:10 UTC by marev » (Observer)

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