TREX Field Team Celebrates Second Field Season
The field work, completed in October 2022 was completed by the 14 person TREX field team made up of PSI scientists Eldar Noe Dobrea, Neil Pearson, Amanda Hendrix, Roger Clark, and Sanlyn Buxner, and collaborators David Wettergreen, Maggie Hansen, Abby Breitfeld, Srini Vijayarangan from Carnegie Mellon University, Greg Holsclaw and Amanda Steckel from the University of Colorado, Melissa Lane from Fibernetics, Inc., Ernie Bell from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and Gregg Swayze who is retired from USGS. Embedded with the field team was professional artist Lisa Blatt.
In addition to the field team was the TREX science team, led by PSI scientist Tom Prettyman and included PSI scientist Faith Vilas, SSI scientist Mikki Osterloo, post-doctoral researchers Caitlin Ahrens from Goddard Space Flight Center, Audrey Martin from University of Central Florida, and Paul Knightly from Northern Arizona University, as well as graduate students Ruby Patterson (University of Houston), Nandita Kumari (Stony Brook University), McKayla Meier (University of Idaho), and PSI alumni scientist Maria Banks from Goddard Space Flight Center.
The TREX team tested three different scenarios over two weeks to test scientific automation in the field with the support of an autonomous rover. Each day, the field team collected images and other scientific data and relayed them back to the science team for analysis. In the last scenario, Zoë was be accompanied by “astronauts” Maria Banks and Ernie Bell to assist in data collection. The collected data are being used to build geologic maps of the region and tested the efficiency of the different scenarios and data collection techniques. In two of the scenarios, the robot decides its own path using the collected data, the goal being to increase the knowledge (decrease the uncertainty) of its geologic map.
TREX Team Ready for Second Field Season
The TREX Theme 4 team has met in Green River, Utah for the second field season with autonomous rover Zoë.
TREX Fieldwork Documentary Draft Release
We are excited to share a draft of our upcoming TREX Fieldwork Documentary created by Franklin Fitzgerald (https://www.franklinfitzgerald.com/)
TREX Team celebrates successful first field season!
After a one-and-one-half-year delay and years of planning and preparation, the TREX team – led by PSI Senior Scientist Amanda Hendrix – come together in Flagstaff, Arizona to conduct field testing of multiple scientific instruments, including cameras, as the project contributes knowledge to prepare for future human exploration of the Moon and other places in the Solar System. The instruments, mounted atop the autonomous rover Zoë, built and managed by TREX partners from Carnegie Mellon (led by David Wettergreen), measured rocks and soils at different wavelengths of light to learn about their composition.
Field work took place from Nov. 1 through Nov. 13, 2021 at two geologically interesting sites in Northern Arizona, one 45 minutes north of Flagstaff and the other outside Tuba City, Arizona.
The work was conducted by the 14 person TREX field team made up of PSI scientists Eldar Noe Dobrea, Shawn Wright, Neil Pearson, George Kramer and Sanlyn Buxner, and collaborators from Carnegie Mellon, University of Colorado, Northern Arizona University, the Jet Propulsion Lab and Arizona State University along with the seven person TREX science team made up of PSI scientists Tom Prettyman, Roger Clark, Faith Vilas, PSI alumni scientists Maria Banks from Goddard Space Flight Center and Melissa Lane from Fibernetics, Inc. and additional collaborators from Goddard Space Flight Center and Northern Arizona University.
Each day the science team sent commands to the rover team who moved the rover to the sites and collected data and sent it back to the science team for analysis. The team enacted multiple scenarios at each site to test not only the scientific instruments but also software for the robot to autonomously traverse different paths for data collection and is utilizing an “astronaut” to assist in data collection. The data collected during the different robot traverses is be used to build geologic maps of the regions and will test the efficiency of the different scenarios and data collection techniques.
TREX Field Team is getting ready for fieldwork!
The rover is on the way to Flagstaff and team members are traveling from across the US and the world to start on field work beginning next week!