Opportunity: Seeks energy-favorable locations to recharge its solar panels during winter

Opportunity Status Report, August 31, 2017. Opportunity is exploring “Perseverance Valley” on the west rim of Endeavour crater.

Winter has constrained the energy levels on the rover, so the project has been exercising the strategy of driving the rover from one energy-favorable “lily pad” to the next. These lily pads are locations where the terrain is tilted sufficiently to the north to maximize the Sun illumination on the rover’s solar panels. Even this is not enough and the rover has to spend some days recharging. During these “recharge” sols the rover sleeps throughout the day waking only for the morning Deep Space Network X-band session and the afternoon Ultra High Frequency relay pass.

Opportunity drove on Sol 4831 (Aug. 26, 2017), heading for an energy lily pad. While driving, the rover collected some mid-drive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) imaging. At the end of the drive, after traveling just over 82 feet (25 meters), the rover collected some more imagery. Unfortunately, due to side slip, the rover missed the lily pad by a few meters. After a couple of days of recharging, Opportunity drove a short distance of just over 13 feet (4 meters) to get onto that lily pad. [More at link]

This entry was posted in Reports and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.