Key questions

Which project are the field trials part of?
The Field Trials in Tenerife are part of a European Framework 7 Project called Planetary Robotics Vision Ground Processing (PRoVisG).
PRoVisG aims to develop a framework for planetary robotic vision processing and to further develop technology to better process and visualize past, present and future data products from robotic missions.
What are the field trials and why do we do them?
Field Trials 2008 in Sandy Quarry

They are called field trials because you try something in the field. A mission to another planet is a very expensive endeavour. Therefore, it seems prudent to try to test as many things as possible before hand to mature the design before launching anything. Imagine we get to Mars, we turn on a camera and we realise it doesn’t work as we expected. Better to try it on Earth first!

One key point is that they are done in an environment as similar as possible to the one where we actually want the system to operate.


Where will they be done?

In Llano de Ucanca and Minas de San Jose, two locations in the El Teide National Park, in Tenerife    (Spain). Their features, combining a flat landscape and crater-like dips with scarce vegetation, are representative of a Moon or Mars landscape.


Which equipment will be tested?

In the field trials, different equipment will be tested: A Pan Cam, an omniview camera, a 3D-TOF camera and a hyperspectral camera (see the PRoVisG technology page). At the same time, even if it’s not part of PRovisG, the field trials give the opportunity to test some ultrasonic drilling equipment.


Who will carry the experimental equipment?

Bridget, a rover prototype developed by Astrium UK to support R&D activities and projects like PRoVisG.


Who is actually going to do the field trials?

There will be two groups of people: Astrium UK Staff will be responsible for driving the rover and conducting the field trials and PRoVisG scientists and engineers from all over Europe and the US, which will be closely monitoring the behaviour of cameras and equipment they developed.

When are the field trials going to take place?

From the 11th to the 22nd of September 2011

Can I talk to the team?

Yes, and they are going to answer your questions!

Go to Ask the Team a Question ...

Can I see the field trials from home?

There will be a live broadcast straight from Tenerife. You will be able to see the control centre and how people operate the rover!

Go to LIVE!

There is also a live blog that is being constantly updated from the control centre.

Go to Live blog