Today we started late to allow for night trials. After stuggling to get our flippers working correctly we decided to get the rover drive system online and on the ground. Unfortunately luck was not on our side.
Soon after getting Selene out and onto the ground we quickly had issues with the drive system, our power was misbalanced between the left and right tracks and the rover was suffering from constant stalls. Once back in the workshop van we quickly found out that the bearings on our motor drive shafts had spectacularly failed, littering the gear boxes with tiny ball bearings and completely shattering the metal collar holding them in place. The implication of this was to leave the drive shaft unlubricated and unbalanced.
Our only hope was to try and find replacement motors in the morning, our drill has a 20Nm motor, we hoped to find similar replacements in Santa Cruz!
In the mean time Sam and Michel continued to work on improving and tweaking our software. Sam managed to incorporate the majority of our system controls into a single application, while Michel tried an alternative method of receiving our video stream.
We also got at better idea of how the site would be at night. Here is the test area in the day time:
And the challenge crater at night!
We also got a look at the sample sand we would have to collect once in the crater.
We could only hope for better luck in the morning and try to replace our motors.
Here’s a video log from earlier in the day (it is actually from day 4, even though I say day 3!)