Well, it’s been a while since we’ve been posting a lot, so I thought I’d just give you guys some kind of an idea as to what we’re doing these days.
The uplink team is constantly looking where to point the camera next. There is a program which is in beta testing now called HiWeb which allows scientists and other people to input suggestions. The Uplink team reviews the suggestions in the database, assigns a priority to each of these suggestions, and then finds when we can point the camera at the part. They also make sure a certain percentage of the upcoming pictures are assigned to look for a Phoenix landing spot, as this is a high priority item at the moment. They are still learning exactly how to best command the camera, and are constantly sharpening their skills.
The downlink team is making sure operations run smoothly at HiROC. They are verifying that the processing has taken place, make sure that the images have been calibrated correctly, that there are no image processing artifacts on the images we are about to release. If there is any artifacts created from processing the image, the source of the problem is identified and fixed, and then the image is reprocessed. While previously we have sent images to the public that had some small processing artifacts during the post-MOI and Transition imaging, we currently are waiting until the images have been completely validated. The downlink team is also taking a quick look at each image that comes down, and making sure there isn’t something unexpected, for example, haze at Mars, lots of saturated pixels, etc. If any such problems are found, they notify the uplink team, to ensure that we don’t have continuing problems. These problems are very rare, but on occasion happen, due to the changing nature of Mars. (more…)