The FIDO field tests include a major educational component, largely accomplished through the internet. The LAPIS Student Test Mission program was designed to prototype an educational experience in which small groups of students participated actively in rover testing.
This year, the LAPIS 2 Student Test Mission involves students from Birmingham, AL, Flagstaff, AZ, Ithaca, NY, St. Louis, MO, and Copenhagen, Denmark. They have been working together since January to plan a test mission with a goal of getting the rover back to the lander at the end of the tests, while acquiring science data along the way. To learn more about LAPIS 2, please visit the student web site: http://wufs.wustl.edu/lapis2.
Last Year's LAPIS Student Test Mission
Last year, four teams of high school students formed the original LAPIS Student Test Mission integrated team (from Los Angeles, CA, Phoenix, AZ, Ithaca, NY, and St. Louis, MO.) and spent four months planning the use of FIDO during two days of the field tests via the internet.
Each team was responsible for one element necessary to plan and implement an integrated mission. Their responsibilities included writing a mission plan with contingencies, producing education/outreach materials, participating in on-site field documentation, maintaining a student run web site, and archiving the data. The students communicated with each other, their science mentors at cooperating universities, and with rover scientists and engineers through bi-weekly teleconferences, email, and a team web site.
During the last two days of the April 1999 FIDO field tests, the students implemented their mission plan and drove the rover remotely, with the help of four on-site student mission coordinators (one from each team). Due to weather, part of their planned tests had to be completed with the rover in the Mars Yard at JPL.
At the completion of the student test mission, Pancam and Navcam images from the student traverses were posted with data sets from the actual FIDO field tests. The students will be able to review their data and compare it with the commands they sent via WITS.
For more information and images visit the LAPIS student-run web site where the students have posted plans, activities, images, and updates.