Tag Archives: Haughton Mars Project (HMP)

NASA SIMULATES LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION AT HARSH ARCTIC IMPACT CRATER SITE

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WASHINGTON – A group of scientists experienced in working in the harsh conditions of the high Canadian Arctic this week began the 14th field season of the Haughton-Mars Project, HMP-2010. This year’s field season includes a three-week effort to assess concepts for future planetary exploration, including crew activities, robots and mission control.

 

During HMP-2010, researchers will study how lunar robotic “follow-up” activities can improve human exploration; they will use the Haughton Crater on Devon Island, Canada to simulate an approximately 75-mile long robotic convoy from the Shackleton Crater to Mount Malapert in the south polar region of the moon.

 

“Explorers, such as geologists, often find themselves with a set of observations they would have liked to make, or samples they would have liked to take, if only they had been able to stay longer at a site,” said Terry Fong, director of the Intelligent Robotics Group at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. “Our work this year is to study how remotely operated robots – perhaps even vehicles previously used for crew transport – can be used to perform follow-up work.”

 

Using robots for follow-up work could save astronauts from having to perform tedious, repetitive or very time-consuming activities. Additionally, robots could make measurements that complement or supplement those initially taken by humans. According to scientists and mission planners, there will be substantial amounts of time between crewed missions to use robots to perform research work on the moon.

 

At HMP-2010, NASA will deploy K10 robots, developed by the Intelligent Robotics Group at NASA Ames, which are equipped with a variety of instruments including a 3-D scanning lidar, color imagers, spectrometers and ground-penetrating radar. The K10s will perform follow-up work scenarios, such as systematic mapping of above- and below-ground structures and characterizing the rocks, soil and landscape of key areas at Haughton Crater in support of the Moon and Mars Analog Mission Activities Program in the Science Mission Directorate and the Exploration Technology Development Program in the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, Washington.

 

NASA also will conduct a series of experiments designed to examine how future lunar surface systems, such as crew rovers, might be robotically repositioned from one location to a new rendezvous location with astronauts.

 

”Poor lighting and low resolution of satellite imagery can make a planned route look very simple from above, but once we are on the ground we can see obstacles we couldn’t before that make the route unexpectedly challenging,” said Matt Leonard, principal investigator of the Lunar Surface System (LSS) experiment at Haughton Crater. “We will study how to use ground robots to scout alternative safe routes, categorize hard-to-detect obstacles and examine how best to prepare for venturing into unknown terrain,” he added.

 

In addition to working around unexpected roadblocks during future planetary convoys, the LSS experiment team will study how a robot on a set route with a fixed schedule can conduct science tasks, such as sampling or gathering images. To do this, the team will work with a K10 robot and HMP’s MARS-1 Humvee Rover field exploration vehicle, to simulate a large planetary crew vehicle equipped with science instruments. The LSS experiment is one of several Exploration Analog Missions being conducted this summer by NASA’s Exploration System Mission Directorate.

 

“When you are on a tight schedule to go from one location to another, or have to follow a specific route, it’s critical to determine the potential cost of making an unplanned stop or detour,” said, Pascal Lee, director of the Haughton-Mars Project at NASA Ames, chairman of the Mars Institute, Moffett Field, Calif., and a planetary scientist at the SETI Institute, Mountain View, Calif. “The Shackleton to Malapert traverse and future planetary traverses elsewhere may have only limited time for opportunistic science, so we need to understand what decision-making process will yield the highest science return.”

 

The Haughton-Mars Project is an international, multidisciplinary field research project focused on the scientific study of the Haughton impact crater and surrounding terrain on Devon Island in Canada’s high Arctic. According to scientists, the site’s polar desert setting, geological features, and microbiology, make Haughton Crater a good site for moon and Mars analog studies. The HMP is managed by the Mars Institute in collaboration with the SETI Institute.

 

For more information about the Haughton Mars Project, visit:

 

http://www.marsonearth.org

 

For more information about the NASA’s Exploration Analog Missions, visit:

 

https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/analogs

 

For more information about the NASA Ames Intelligent Robotics Group, visit:

 

http://irg.arc.nasa.gov

 

-end-

Byron Adams (ASU): K10 Experiment and other Research

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Video by Elaine Walker (EPO, HMP, Mars Institute)
Copyright 2010 Mars Institute

 

This blog is courtesy of Haughton Mars Project (HMP)

For more information please visit www.marsonearth.org

 

Byron Adams is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate at the Arizona State University School of Earth and Space Exploration. His primary research focuses on utilizing thermochronology, cosmogenic radionuclide dating, and structural and geomorphological mapping to study the tectonic history and geomorphology of the Bhutan Himalaya. He is advised by Kip Hodges, Kelin Whipple and Arjun Heimsath.

Byron has a B.S. in Geology from Ball State University in Indiana and a M.S. in Geology from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. While at Cincinnati, he worked in the Lahul Himalaya of northern India investigating exhumation and river incision rates with Craig Dietsch and Lewis Owen.

Kelsey Young (ASU): K10 Experiment and other Research

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Video by Elaine Walker (EPO, HMP, Mars Institute)
Copyright 2010 Mars Institute

 

This blog is courtesy of Haughton Mars Project (HMP)

For more information please visit www.marsonearth.org

 

Kelsey Young is a geologist in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. Kelsey earned her undergraduate degree in geology from the University of Notre Dame where she studied Earth-based analogs for Mars. Specifically, she conducted fieldwork to study the interactions of lava and water in conjunction with examining similar features on the surface of Mars. While completing this work, she became interested in using terrestrial analogs to work on issues associated with manned space exploration. Kelsey is now working on her Ph.D. in geology, and is pursuing this interest by combining geology with the logistics of planetary surface exploration.

Working in terrestrial analog sites like Haughton Mars Project gives her first-hand experience on active processes happening on other planetary surfaces. While at HMP- 2010, Kelsey will be collecting impact breccia samples from inside the crater in order to date the age of the impact using (U-Th)/He thermochronology.

Kelsey is currently working under one of NASA’s Graduate Student Researcher Program’s (GSRP) Fellowships, so she is working closely with NASA Johnson Space Center on incorporating a spectrometer into the Desert RATS field test (another analog test run by NASA). She will be supporting D-RATS as both a member of the sciencebackroom, and as one of four geologist crewmembers for the test.

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Kelsey Young
School of Earth and Space Exploration
Arizona State University

Dr Matthew Deans (NASA Ames): K10 Robot Experiment

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Video by Elaine Walker (EPO, HMP, Mars Institute)
Copyright 2010 Mars Institute

 

This blog is courtesy of Haughton Mars Project (HMP)

For more information please visit www.marsonearth.org

 

Dr Matthew Deans is the Deputy Group Lead of the Intelligent Robotics Group (IRG), in the Intelligent Systems Division (Code TI), at NASA Ames Research Center. He has significant experience in Field Robotics, participating in field experiments in Antarctica, the Arctic, Atacama Desert, Canadian Rockies, and several sites in the continental US. He was the field team lead for the K10 test at Haughton Crater, Nunavut Canada, in July 2007 and again in July 2010. The K10 experiment is looking at how to use robots to augment human space exploration. The K10 will follow up on field work done by humans by adding additional surveys, context imaging, 3-dimensional scanning, and in situ analytical instruments. These measurements will complement and extend the investigations that were started by field geologists last year.

HMP 2010: Several New Arrivals – HMP Activity Picks Up

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This blog is courtesy of Haughton Mars Project (HMP)

For more information please visit www.marsonearth.org

 

July 24 Flickr Photo Set

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copyright 2010 Mars Institute
The CRUX (Construction Resource Utilization Explorer) Drill team, Dr Brian Glass (Senior Scientist, Drilling Automation, NASA Ames), Dr Sarah Thompson (NASA Ames), Shannon Statham (Georgia Tech, Ph.D. student) and Mateusz Szczesiak (Honeybee Robotics), went to drill hill after breakfast with more gear, with the help of Ben Audlaluk (from Grise Fiord) and Peter Eckalook (from Resolute Bay). They got everything up and running with the Mars prototype drill and started drilling today!

The K10 team from NASA Ames, Dr Trey Smith, Susan Lee, Vinh To, Eric Park and Dr Hans Utz, led by Dr Matthew Dean, scouted the site B location and made some upgrades to prepare the robot for more follow up missions.

The Hamilton Sundstrand team, Ron Sidgreaves and Todd Glazier, finalized and assemble the suit ports and stairs on the Mars-1 Humvee Rover. They fitted the suit and stairs for the geologist, Kelsey Young, who will be conducting EVAs in the suit. Kelsey is a Ph.D. candidate at Arizona State University, in the School of Earth and Space Exploration.

There were several new arrivals today, including Kira Lorber of the Mars Institute. Kira is the HMP Logistics Manager for the Mars Institute and typically works out of Resolute Bay during the HMP seasons. She has just had her first meal at camp!

Two of Star’s uncles, Paul Amarualik and Joe Amarualik (former HMP deputy base camp manager) flew in and stayed part of the day before departing again. Dr Brian Glass’s sister, Vicky Glass, has arrived. She is a fire chief in Atlanta will be our safety officer this season and will working with Dr Valerie Myers (NASA JSC) on her immunology study.

Other new arrivals were Dr Perry Johnson-Green and Lauren Artman, both ecologists from CSA, Steve Hoffman (NASA JSC), Tiffany Montague (Google), Dr Stephen Braham (Chief Field Engineer and Associate Director, HMP / SFU), and Stephen’s assistants, Vik Kumar, Parna Niksirat and Isaiah Mandryk.

Nathan Kalluk and Star Amarualik flew back to their home town of Resolute Bay. We thank them for all of their hard work this season!

HMP 2010: K10 Team Analyzes Data – CRUX Team Begins Setup

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This blog is courtesy of Haughton Mars Project (HMP)

For more information please visit www.marsonearth.org

  

July 23 Flickr Photo Set

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copyright 2010 Mars Institute
Today started out with low visibility and fairly strong winds. Some sun poked through the clouds in the afternoon and evening but it was rather windy and chilly throughout the day.

The K10 team from NASA Ames, Dr Trey Smith, Susan Lee, Vinh To, Eric Park and Dr Hans Utz, led by Dr Matthew Dean, finished up at locale 8 on Von Braun Planitia, sending back data from the instruments, including a gigapan camera, LiDAR, microscopic imager, ground penetrating radar and an x-ray fluorescence spectrometer. Byron Adams and Kelsey Young analyzed the data. They are both Ph.D. candidates at ASU in the School of Earth and Space Exploration. All of Dr Mark Helper’s objectives for robotic follow up were met at locale 8. Dr Helper is a Distinguished Senior Lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin.

The CRUX Drill team, led by Dr Brian Glass (Senior Scientist, Drilling Automation, NASA Ames), transfered and positioned a load of gear to a location near the drill site in the morning, and went out again after dinner to set up the drill tent and other equipment.

HMP 2010: First K10 Robot Field Tests – Dr Brian Glass's 50th Birthday!

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This blog is courtesy of Haughton Mars Project (HMP)

For more information please visit www.marsonearth.org

 

July 22 Flickr Photo Set

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copyright 2010 Mars Institute
It snowed overnight and throughout the day, but there is a good chance of sunny weather over the weekend.

The K10 team from NASA Ames, Dr Trey Smith, Susan Lee, Vinh To, Eric Park and Dr Hans Utz, led by Dr Matthew Dean, drove the robot out to Von Braun Planitia. Thanks go to our camp chef, Jeff Fagen, for organizing lunch shifts for the K10 team so that they could work continuously.

The Hamilton Sundstrand team, Ron Sidgreaves and Todd Glazier, began installing the suit ports into the Mars-1 Humvee Rover. Thanks to Jesse Weaver and Travis Oaks (technicians) for helping.

After dinner, we celebrated Dr Brian Glass’s 50th birthday! Dr Brian, from NASA Ames, was first involved with the HMP in 1998 and has not had a birthday at home since that year. Dr Brian’s birthday has become somewhat of a mid-season ritual, which usually occurs at the peak of the season. He began work at HMP doing wireless communications for field science, and research with rovers, and in the last 5 or 6 years has focused on automated drills. This season he is continuing testing with the the CRUX (Construction Resource Utilization Explorer) Drill.

HMP 2010: Traverse to Wyle Hill and Other HMP Activities

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This blog is courtesy of Haughton Mars Project (HMP)

For more information please visit www.marsonearth.org

 

July 21 Flickr Photo Set

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copyright 2010 Mars Institute

Today was overcast with no precipitation.

Byron Adams and Kelsey Young, both in the Geology Department at ASU, traversed to Wyle Hill above Trinity Lake and collected samples of impact breccia. This is research they are doing in addition to working with the K10 robot team.

The K10 team from NASA Ames, Dr Trey Smith, Susan Lee, Vinh To, Eric Park and Dr Hans Utz, led by Dr Matthew Dean, set up a repeater at location 8 on Von Braun Planitia and have their robot nearly ready for testing.

The CRUX (Construction Resource Utilization Explorer) Drill team, Dr Brian Glass (Senior Scientist, Drilling Automation, NASA Ames), Dr Sarah Thompson (NASA Ames), Shannon Statham (Georgia Tech, Ph.D. student) and Mateusz Szczesiak (Honeybee Robotics), successfully tested their communication systems, scouted for locations and picked out a drilling site.

Thanks to Ben Audlaluk (from Grise Fiord) for supporting the traverses, and to Jesse Weaver (mechanic) and his assistant, Travis Oaks, for keeping the Kawasaki bikes in tip top shape.

Ron Sidgreaves and Todd Glazier, both of Hamilton Sundstrand, have the two suit ports well underway. They will be installing them on the back of the Mars-1 Humvee Rover tomorrow.

HMP 2010: CRUX Drill Team Arrives, Greenhouse Team Departs

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This blog is courtesy of Haughton Mars Project (HMP)

For more information please visit www.marsonearth.com

 

July 20 Flickr Photo Set

Greenhouse12.JPG
copyright 2010 Mars Institute
The day started with marginal winds and low visibility, but cleared up after lunch. As we’ve hit the peak of the season, the HMP Core Team held a meeting after breakfast to insure that everything runs smoothly.

The K10 Robot team from NASA Ames, led by Dr Matthew Deans and including Dr Trey Smith, Susan Lee, Vinh To, Eric Park and Dr Hans Utz, tested instruments and components and traversed with the robot during a break in the weather. Kelsey Young and Byron Adams (both PhD students in the Geology Dept. at ASU) did traverse planning for this year’s follow-up mission. The robot team will program the traverse coordinates into the robot accordingly.

The Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse team, Matt Bamsey (CSA), Talal Abboud (CSA) and Thomas Graham (Univ. of Guelph) wrapped up and packed and will be monitoring the greenhouse remotely until next HMP season. They departed this evening, along with Drs Robert Ferl and Anna-Lisa Paul (both faculty at the University of Florida).

The rest of the CRUX drill team: Dr Brian Glass (Senior Scientist, Drilling Automation, NASA Ames), Dr Sarah Thompson (NASA Ames) and Shannon Statham (Georgia Tech, Ph.D. student), arrived on Devon Island this evening. They reunited with their fourth team member, Mateusz Szczesiak (Honeybee Robotics), who has been at the HMP Research Station running tests as part of his research for Honeybee.

HMP-2010: A Productive Day with Unfriendly Weather

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Regardless of mostly relentless rain, participants moved forward with their research.

 

The K10 Robot team from NASA Ames, led by Dr Matt Deans and including Dr Trey Smith, Susan Lee, Vinh To, Eric Park and Dr Hans Utz, tested instruments and components and traversed with the robot during a break in the weather. Kelsey Young and Byron Adams (both PhD students in the Geology Dept. at ASU) did traverse planning for this year’s follow-up mission. The robot team will program the traverse coordinates into the robot accordingly.

 

Ron Sidgreaves and Todd Glazier of Hamilton Sundstrand have almost completed the second suit and got started on the installation of two suit ports on the Mars-1 Humvee Rover; one for each back door. There will be some exciting research this season on this front.

 

This evening there were two lectures. The first was a dual talk by Drs Robert Ferl and Anna-Lisa Paul, both faculty at the University of Florida, in the area of space biology. It has been a very busy year for them, having flown life science experiments on various space missions. They have implemented a version of one of their experiments into the Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse.

 

Sean Alexander (City Bike / kowasaki.com) talked about the diverse history of Kowasaki, and also learned about his own colorful history and wide range of talents.


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