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A Day in the Life of a Mars Rover Driver

What does the Mars Rover Curiosity need to know to ensure safe and well-targeted operations once the Rover is left on its own for several hours in the vast deserts of our neighbor planet.

Stirling Algermissen, NASA &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Foto: JOANNEUM RESEARCH

Stirling Algermissen is a Software Engineer at the Solar System Exploration Department at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory JPL in Pasadena, California. He leads a team concerned with software development of tools for the NASA PDS, the Planetary Data System, used to archive and distribute all scientific data from NASA planetary missions, astronomical observations, and laboratory measurements.

In this context he visited DIGITAL to discuss archiving and data access issues for camera instruments of the forthcoming ESA ExoMars and NASA Mars 2020 missions that the team of the research group "Machine and Vision Applications" – in cooperation with VRVis in Vienna – are supporting with 3D vision processing & visualization tools.

Stirling is a member of the JPL Multi Mission Operations Team and as such he acts as Curiosity Rover Driver in the Mars Science Laboratory responsible for uploading meaningful commands to the MSL Rover Curiosity to ensure safe and well-targeted operations once the Rover is left on its own for several hours in the vast deserts of our neighbor planet.

ProjectMars Science Laboratory