A number of tests were conducted at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Mars Yard to get ready for the April field test. The January Mars Yard tests included use of Pancam and Navcam systems for color imaging and waypoint determination, respectively, with WITS. The tests also included use of terrain avoidance systems (using body-mounted stereo imagers). Telemetry was sent to Washington University in real-time for generation of data products.
The Infrared Point Spectrometer (IPS) was used to acquire point data for science targets using WITS and Navcam data for planning IPS sequences. The arm and microscopic imager were tested and the mini-corer was integrated onto FIDO. Thus, all instruments except for the Mössbauer Spectrometer and the Raman Spectrometer were fully integrated onto FIDO. Telemetry was sent to Washington University in real-time for generation of data products.
Final Mars Yard tests were completed before deployment at Silver Lake. The Mössbauer Spectrometer was fully integrated into the payload. End-to-end testing of the complete system was the primary focus. This included acquiring imaging and IPS data for targets, traversing to the targets, and deploying the arm to gather data with the Mössbauer Spectrometer and Color Microscopic Imager and mini-corer. WITS was functional with most of the capabilities planned for use in the April Silver Lake field tests. Telemetry was sent to Washington University in real-time for generation of data products. (Note: Raman Spectrometer will be integrated onto FIDO in June 2001.)
An Operational Readiness Test (ORT) took place, in late March, with the FIDO Core Operations Team (COT) commanding FIDO using WITS.
Silver Lake Field Test: The April Silver Lake science field tests included the full FIDO Science Team. The objective was to simulate aspects of the 2003 and 2005 rover operations as closely as possible, including leaving the vicinity of the landing site, finding, characterizing, and sampling key outcrops, and returning to the landing site to deposit the core samples. Use of WITS in remote commanding also provided valuable lessons for 2003 and 2005 operations.
The Silver Lake tests also included a major educational component, involving a group of high school students who formed the LAPIS Student Test Mission. They simulated the exploration and discovery portion of the 2003 and 2005 missions which occurs after the rover delivers its sample cache to the lander and continues its mission.