EVA Report – May 11th

Crew 261 EVA Report 11-05-2023

EVA # 17

Author: James Burk (Commander)

Purpose of EVA: Soil Gathering for Crew Biologist

Start time: 7:30 AM

End time: 8:15 AM


Overview of EVA

This was essentially a repeat of our crew’s EVA-3 to collect soil samples south of the campus. Commander Burk and Crew Renaud took Perseverance out to the same locations as EVA-3, collected soil, and returned without incident.

Issues Experienced

  • None



Destination: North side of Kissing Camel Ridge, just off Cow Dung Road.

Coordinates (use UTM WGS 84): 518300 E, 4249500 N

Participants: James Burk (Commander) (EVA Leader), Cecile Renaud (GreenHab Officer).

Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: Drive towards Cow Dung Road, take it south to the entry to Robert’s Rock Garden, and walk east to collection site.

Mode of travel: Rover (Perseverance)

Crew 261 EVA Report 11052023


EVA # 18


Author: Erin Kennedy (Crew Roboticist)


Purpose of EVA:

Final testing of Atmosphinder robot

Observe the geological features of that region


Start time: 1:19 PM


End time: 4:37 PM




Overview of EVA


Today was the final testing of the Atmosphinder robot! Fixes were implemented that solved all of the problems from EVA-16 (yesterday). As a final test, the objectives were to test: 1) autonomous function activation based on anemometer wind speed and 2) computer vision with coloured card sequences.


1) Autonomous sensor-based function activation with the anemometer

The anemometer was activated, and the robot responded by changing the sail servo motor movements and LEDs. As the wind speed value hit different thresholds, the sail servo movements changed accordingly. Due to lack of wind, the anemometer was given a manual spin for the test. Two functions were tested, and both worked as expected. The result was prominent today owing to the servo motors functioning and the LEDs being brighter.

This test result proves that Atmosphinder was able to control its sail trim servos in response to the wind speed. This is an indicator that in the future, controlling the direction of the robot based on the current winds is possible.

2) Human-Robot Interaction experiment to activate functions based on coloured card sequences

EVA crew members Cecile and Julien showed the robot pink and green cards, and the robot responded by moving its sails accordingly. The EVA crew members then swapped positions, making the combination green and pink, and the robot responded by moving its sails in the other direction.

This test result proves that this is as an alternate method for human-robot interaction for astronauts, and is worth exploring further to improve the usability. This interaction style will be important when humans and robots need to collaborate on the surface of Mars.

Challenges were experienced regarding the positioning of the cards in front of the camera, and the angle of the cards as to not introduce any shadows onto them. The evaluation of a better technology, as reported in the EVA-16 report, still stands. Today the lighting conditions outside matched those that were used for training the embedded computer vision system. Benchtop testing was conducted prior to the EVA to confirm the camera could detect the coloured cards.


As a final destructive test, the robot was extracted from the rover and attempted to roll down a gentle hill at the Sea of Shells destination. Due to the warmer temperatures, the hot glue repairs became disconnected. This resulted in the structure not being sturdy enough to roll for a single revolution. This was not detrimental to the overall testing as all of the functional testing was completed earlier in the EVA.

EVA-18 was an extraordinary conclusion to the Atmosphinder project. The functionality worked, making it a wonderful culmination of the efforts for the past two weeks. Sharing the enthusiasm with the entire crew was extremely rewarding! Many thanks to the entire crew for contributing to this final EVA to make it a favourable result.


Issues Experienced During EVA-18




1) All Atmosphinder testing worked!

2) Obtained rock samples


Destination: Sea of Shells

Coordinates (use UTM WGS 84): 516400 E, 4255400 N

EVA Participants: Julien Villa-Massone (Crew Engineer) (EVA Leader), Cecile Renaud (GreenHab Officer), Erin Kennedy (Crew Roboticist), Kris Davidson (Journalist) (Not In Sim – Not Wearing Suit)

Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: Cow Dung Road north to Brahe Hwy 1572, then north turn and stop at Sea of Shells

Mode of travel: Rovers

Vehicles you will be using (If applicable): Curiosity and Opportunity

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