About FIDO

Rover Tests




The FIDO Mars Yard tests occurred on July 21 and 22 at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. A number of FIDO scientists attended to command the rover from inside the adjacent trailer and FIDO engineers were on hand to help with operations. The test plan was developed on the basis of sols, or Martian days. Activities were planned for 8 sols, but scaled appropriately to fit within the two days allotted for the tests. The focus of the tests was to find, traverse to, center over, and simulate drilling of rock targets in the Mars Yard. To that end, mast-mounted Pancam and Navcam data together with body-mounted Hazcam images, the Mini-Corer, and the arm-mounted Color Microscopic Imager were all utilized. Belly cameras were used to monitor the instrument arm and mini-corer deployments.


  • Science targets were selected using Pancam and Infared Point Spectrometer data.

  • Approached three rocks using Pancam, Navcam, and Hazcam data.

  • Successfully placed the Mini-Corer into position to sample two of the three rocks.

  • Simulated acquiring and caching five cores from two rocks, with microscopic images of each core.

Future Testing

Future tests over the next six months will focus on getting to rock targets, drilling, validating rock cores, and caching cores. "Flight rules" will be derived from the tests that will outline how to accomplish science and operational tasks with the minimum risk to the rover mission. Tests will also be scheduled to acquire and analyze data for rover localization, particularly for use during operations.