Trek to Solander Point - Page 10

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Author Message
Bill Harris

Posts: 3

Reply: 181

PostPosted: July 31, 2013 1:01 PM 

I've suggested this before, and I'll say it again: they must be letting summer interns run the surviving MER over at JPL.

We have been struggling with getting data relayed through the orbiter Odyssey even with lots of data dropouts. Yet they keep retransmitting identical and duplicate image data, with only one difference: a 1024x2 pixel strip encoded on the right edge.

For example:

1P425050571ESFC200P2593L7M2.JPG 149.55 KB
1P425050571ESFC200P2593L7M3.JPG 148.93
1P425050571ESFC200P2593L7M5.JPG 149.42
1P425050571ESFC200P2593L7M6.JPG 149.27

are Pancam L7 images of target Hornsby from Sol-3344. Four versions (2, 3, 5 and 6, I didn't keep 1 and 4) with the image data apparently identical except for that encoded strip. I've seen other examples, but didn't keep the extra copies.

It's looney-tunes. It's bad enough that a lot of time is wasted on the traverse itself (sitting around doing nothing, but other times rushing by targets because of "time constraints") and other BS. I swear, the Inmates are running the Madhouse. It's a criminal waste of a unique publicly-funded resource.

Anyways. Frequently when we get a partial image with a data dropout, the "autorange" of the software that saves it as a public JPEG apparently shoves the data "up the scale" making it look light, washed out and "gamma over-corrected" (for lack of better term). I'd like to utilize this data while waiting for the full data, and have tried a simple gamma correction or doing a "TLAR Twiddle" with a histogram, but I can't get a consistent method of getting the "folded, spindled and mutilated" to a tonal range and contrast close to that of the full dataset. I suspect that with the JPEGging of the partial image some data is tossed and there may not be a consistent way to get the data usable.

Hort, what do you think ??? (Especially Part 2, the first part is rather like trying to sweep the tide back...)



Posts: 3465

Reply: 182

PostPosted: July 31, 2013 2:11 PM 

Bill, Interesting observations.

I have never bothered to check the differences between the endless repeated partial ( or sometimes seemingly complete ) images.

I have always assumed that the differences between the images was an increase in the total twelve bit original information - which when converted to 8 bit JPG does not always seem to be any different!

Often ( as you observed ) the newer JPG file size decreases! Throw in the native ICER compression, different image routines for interpolating missing data -- and who knows what the net effect is when jamming 12 pounds of information into an 8 pound leaky bag.

When I am forced to use one of the "light" partial images I usually use a similar complete image to do a contrast / brightness adjustment to the light image by forcing the standard deviation and average of the completed areas of the partial image to equal the standard deviation and average of the full image. This works remarkably well in most cases.

When there is a complete block of a filter missing and I am impatient, then I create a synthetic image from complete images and then adjust the average and STD of the synthetic image to the completed areas of the partial image.

For example, I am amused that the L5 filter ( up to the last time I checked ) of reply 161 is still incomplete. When it completes I will not bother to redo the L257 as I think it will make little difference in the final image that I created using corrected synthetic data for the missing data!

Time to go see what's what with Curiosity.

Bill Harris

Posts: 3

Reply: 183

PostPosted: July 31, 2013 3:30 PM 

I fiddled with those "light" partial images pretty much as you described some time ago and got so-so results. Let me tinker some more...

When I say that "Image A is Identical to Image B" the test I use is simple(istic): I use the Image Editor's Arithmetic function to Subtract B from A. If one array of pixels is the same as the other, then you should get a black (000) image. Nothing fancy like a Difference, etc, though I may check that out.

Whatever. Off to do yard work...


John Henry Dough

Posts: xxx

Reply: 184

PostPosted: July 31, 2013 6:29 PM 

Is it possible the rock could be volcanic in

Bill Harris

Posts: 3

Reply: 185

PostPosted: August 1, 2013 9:32 AM 

Oppy seems to have moved: the Drive Index changed from C6E2 to C6EZ and the orientation from SW to W. New final FHazcams and RHazcams of the current site

and a pancam_Nabarlek_L257R2 in the pipeline.

There may be a flood of images later this AM...


Bill Harris

Posts: 3

Reply: 186

PostPosted: August 1, 2013 3:55 PM 

Not many new images, but the Drive Direction Pancam shows that she is headed in the direction shown on the Route Map image in Reply 163. And appears to be crossing The Channel (undulating terrain in the foreground).

Oh yes, and yet another copy of one of the Tawny and Hornby images. Wow. Feh. Meh.



Posts: 3465

Reply: 187

PostPosted: August 2, 2013 8:20 AM 

Sol 3385 ( Aug 2, 2013 ) panorama in the next drive direction in Botany Bay:

The drive was about 120 meters - so if the next drive is a long one then Oppy will be "on" Solander Point.

Bill Harris

Posts: 3

Reply: 188

PostPosted: August 2, 2013 9:56 AM 

Yep, I'm guessing about 120 m along azimuth 216 deg (SSW).

Whilst waiting this AM I put together a route-direction map using that new Navcam pan and the HiRISe base map we've been using. The Azimuth 216 bearing is approximately marked, and the scales are adjusted to fit the page.

I can't find any hard-and-fast landmarks, but I'm thinking that the "rocky patch" near the center may be useful, even though the albedo's don't match well.

Have fun.


Bill Harris

Posts: 3

Reply: 189

PostPosted: August 2, 2013 11:55 PM 

Down today is a new Pancam 4x1 L2 drive direction pan which is showing more detail.

Maybe more images tomorrow, and possibly we'll be at Solander And who knows, maybe yet another iteration of Tawny and Hornsby...

Here is a Polar pan of today's 3x1 Navcam pan. and an update for the location on Sol-3385:


John Henry Dough

Posts: xxx

Reply: 190

PostPosted: August 3, 2013 12:56 PM 

an update for the location on Sol-3385:

Very good.Simple enough for amateurs and Marsaholics alike.

That's it,,that is what we need here.
Keep um coming.

Bill Harris

Posts: 3

Reply: 191

PostPosted: August 3, 2013 9:17 PM 

This week's Rover Field Report form Mars is up:


Once Oppy makes "landfall" at Solander, possibly at the site named "Crystal Creek" and imaged today, she'll work her way westward along the outcrop and start the climb up Solander in September.

Too bad, in a way-- I really wanted to see those bluffs on the eastern side. Maybe later.. Wink


Bill Harris

Posts: 3

Reply: 192

PostPosted: August 4, 2013 7:26 AM 

We're there.



Posts: 3465

Reply: 193

PostPosted: August 4, 2013 8:40 AM 

Sol 3387 ( Aug 4, 2013 ) 3D of the edge of Solander Point:

Er - not to put too fine a point on the Point - but I think we are almost there.

I have always marked the one meter dark ledge about thirty meters ahead as the "edge" of the Point.

Also, the drive was only about 50 meters and the last Field Report said the rover was about 80 meters from the point. 80-50=30.

My guess is the dark ledge will be studied a bit before actually driving onto the Point.

Of course, if the "big guys" decide we're there - then we're there.

One meter - 10 meters -- well within geological error bars for formations.


Bill Harris

Posts: 3

Reply: 194

PostPosted: August 4, 2013 10:15 AM 

Depends on the definition of thereness. I consider that there to be the Onlap feature, that light-toned bench that isn't quite the Meridiani material. But, who's to quibble after a journey of 100,038 Km.

We're close.

And that dark ledge is something new-- it looks like a debris fan derived from the weathering of the hill and overlapping the light-toned Bench material. But is curiously stratified. We'll know more after the Crystal Creek photo-op today.


Bill Harris

Posts: 3

Reply: 195

PostPosted: August 4, 2013 6:52 PM 

The Location/Route Map for today, Sol-3387:



Posts: 3465

Reply: 196

PostPosted: August 5, 2013 1:15 PM 

Sol 3387 ( Aug 4, 2013 ) 3D of a peculiar pointed rock in the next drive direction (NDD) towards Solander Point:

with location links back to the NDD navcam pan.

No "course laid in, Captain." for sol 3389 yet.

Hope it includes a quick drive by shooting of this rock.

Bill Harris

Posts: 3

Reply: 197

PostPosted: August 5, 2013 1:16 PM 

A minor squirt out of the data pipeline this morning-- more MI's from Black Shoulder, a few Nav- and Pancams from "just offshore", and the Drive Direction Pancams of Oppy driving onto Solander (Yay!).

Which we can save for the upcoming New Topic.


Kye Goodwin

Posts: 1166

Reply: 198

PostPosted: August 5, 2013 2:07 PM 

Horton, Bill Harris, Yes its surprising how the edges of the capes are so ambiguous compared with the expectation before Oppy arrived. Bill's "light-toned bench that isn't quite Meridiani material" (reply 194) is a major clue to what happened here in my opinion. Why should there be a ring of slightly different bright layered rock around each cape? The simplest story, that aeolian sand movements buried a pre-existing crater rim, is inadequate to explain why there should be any change at all in the character of the rock in the "onlap". Why would the deposition of dry sand by wind be any different over rock than over earlier deposits of sand? Once a few millimeters of sand have covered the rock how could the underlying rock have any effect on subsequent deposition? Maybe diagenesis can be called upon to explain the "basal sandstone", as the rover team calls it, but now the theory is getting complicated. The boundaries of the capes are not level, so a perched water table against underlying impermeable rim rock seems unlikely. I guess the official theory still includes a period of time when every bit of bright rock was under water (so the concretions could grow) so I guess that era could also somehow explain the "basal sandstone" by diffusion of some influential solute out of the rim material and into the sandstone.

I think that the aeolian sediment theory is just wrong.


Posts: 3465

Reply: 199

PostPosted: August 5, 2013 7:17 PM 


Just posted on the tracking site:

4. What EDRs did we request?

Expected EDRs by sequence number and image type:

Sol Seq.Ver ETH ESF EDN EFF ERP Tot Description
----- -------- --- --- --- --- --- ---- -----------
03389 p1154.01 2 0 0 2 0 4 front_hazcam_idd_unstow_doc
03389 p1165.00 1 1 0 0 0 2 flhaz_IDD_check_subframe_2bpp_pri_41
03389 p1214.05 2 0 0 2 0 4 front_haz_ultimate_4bpp_pri15
03389 p1215.03 2 0 0 2 0 4 front_hazcam_ultimate_0.5_bpp_pri_18
03389 p1234.06 2 2 0 0 0 4 front_haz_fault_half_pri15_4bpp
03389 p1254.02 2 0 0 2 0 4 front_haz_fault_pri15_4bpp
03389 p1311.07 2 0 0 2 0 4 rear_haz_ultimate_1_bpp_crit15
03389 p1334.00 2 2 0 0 0 4 rear_haz_fault_half_pri15_4bpp
03389 p1354.01 2 0 0 2 0 4 rear_haz_fault_pri15_4bpp
03389 p1550.01 2 0 1 0 0 3 navcam_tau
03389 p1645.02 10 0 0 10 0 20 navcam_5x1_az_72_2_bpp
03389 p1762.05 10 0 0 10 0 20 navcam_5x1_az_252_mix_pri_mix_bpp
03389 p1803.06 6 0 0 6 0 12 navcam_3x1_az_220_cust_el_pri_41_3bpp
03389 p1939.05 2 0 0 2 0 4 navcam_idd_doc_1_bpp_pri_15
03389 p2124.04 3 3 0 0 1 7 pancam_cal_targ_L456
03389 p2601.05 4 2 0 0 2 8 pancam_tau_L78R48
03389 p2637.01 3 0 0 3 1 7 pancam_horizon_survey_L456
03389 Total 57 10 1 43 4 115

So, sol 3389 is a driving day. No pancams in the drive direction so my bet is that Oppy stops just short of the dark ledge and does a little science.

Are we there yet? No, we're not! ( My kids favorite driving song as sung by Sandy Offenheim )

Bill Harris

Posts: 3

Reply: 200

PostPosted: August 5, 2013 8:29 PM 

Ah, I was about to mention that Newsflash.


My favorite "are we there yet" sequence is an endless loop of The Simpson's interpretation...

The current Planetary Society Rover Update is out:



Interesting info, but somewhat rambling in format. From what I gather, the locale that I informally named "A Fool's Errand" is semi-officially called "Ray's Box", after Ray Arvidson. The image they show of "Dark, upturned Boulders in Ray's Box" is actually the site "Charlie Brown" (P2412), which was on the way to "Ray's Box". The article has an insipid faux-colourised image labeled "Rusty Crevice", which is actually the IDD target "Black Shoulder".

At any rate, pick through the gee-golly, feel-good parts and there is a good bit of information contained. Have a good read.


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