I spy with my rover’s little eye…

via the Beeb.

Some of the technology being prepared for ESA’s on-off Mars rover mission has been taken out for a test run. Bridget, a test bed for cameras and image processing software to be used on the ExoMars rover, had a run around an abandoned quarry in Southern England. The final rover will have hazard avoidance cameras, stereoscopic cameras and science cameras with filter wheels to narrow received light to certain bands of interest.

The navigation cameras will be able to build up a 3D picture of the environment of the rover and science results will be tagged to the area they happened in. The limitation on how much data can be sent back from Mars means the rover will have reduced resolution cameras. The technology also has to be robust enough to survive the hazards of space radiation and extremes of low gravity, pressure and temperature. The mission is presently scheduled for 2018, though the various ESA states have yet to all put their names to it.

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