Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 339: Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Visual Odometry

19 July 2013

I'm SOWG Chair again, planning three sols to get the rover through the weekend. This typically means a long Friday shift, and today is no exception. The 3-sol plan is complex, with lots of science observations and a 100-meter drive. The use of visual odometry (VO) was approved, so this capability is being used to ensure that the rover stays on path and avoids hazards. VO allows the rover to measure its progress by taking images of the terrain during the drive. In addition, the rover is currently on a relative topographic high, so visibility of the terrain ahead is better than usual. So while we are unlikely to be able to drive 100 meters every sol, it's nice to be able to plan such a long drive today