Haughton-Mars Project Research Station Pre-Field Season Visit Report
Prepared by: Matt Bamsey, Canadian Space Agency
Edited by: Marc Boucher, Mars Institute
A pre-field season visit to the Mars Institute's Haughton-Mars Project Research Station on Devon Island was conducted on April 24, 2007. The field team included: Matt Bamsey (Canadian Space Agency), Samson Simonie and Paul Amagoalik, Mars Institute contractors.
Following arrival on Devon Island the Twin Otter left for another flight and the pilots stated to the field team that they would return in 4 to 5 hours.
1. Repair visit to the Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse
2. Assess Humvee
3. Assess Research Station for Possible Damage
4. Assess the state of the runway
View of the HMP Research Station
A closer view of the HMP Research Station
A description of the results pertaining to each goal is described in the sections to follow.
Goal 1: Repair visit to the Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse
Pre-Visit Overview: Communication with the greenhouse has not been possible over the last several months (communication has been possible with MSAT antenna but not main greenhouse computer etc.). A visit to determine and potentially repair the faults was required. A visit would also provide the greenhouse team valuable data for planning for the upcoming field season.
Visit Summary: The visit restored communication with the greenhouse as well power to several components which had been ‘incorrectly’ powered off. The visit also provided a chance to take detailed photographic surveys both internal to and external to the greenhouse. These surveys also determined that an external greenhouse storage cabinet has been damaged by a polar bear.
The Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse
Matt Bamsey communicates with the The Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse team by satellite phone in fixing the problem with greenhouse communications system.
Note: The greenhouse webcams are not back in operational mode however the date stamp of each image is incorrect. This will be corrected during our upcoming field season.
Goal 2: Assess Humvee for Snow
Pre-Visit Overview: Recently taken aerial shots lead the Mars Institute to believe that the passenger door of the Humvee could be ajar and that a substantial amount of snow could have entered the Humvee. A visit would determine if this was the case and if any repairs would be required during the upcoming field season. It would also allow for the internal snow to be removed and the Humvee to be resealed.
Visit Summary: The following was learned during the assessment of the Humvee:
- There was a considerable amount of snow in the Humvee. The bulk of the snow was removed by hand and shovel and an image showing the Humvee before close up is provided (slightly more snow removed before actual departure).
- The contents of the Humvee do not look to be disturbed. Though there was evidence of some snow infiltration.
- Final state: the cargo strap on the Humvee was tightened and Humvee secured.
The MARS-1 Humvee Rover
Goal 3: Assess Research Station for Possible Damage
Pre-Visit Overview: Damage due to weather or bears could have occurred to the research station. A general survey of the research station could be used to assess these damages.
Visit Summary: No tent or research station damages (a part from the Humvee and an external greenhouse storage cabinet) where found. The perimeter of each tent was inspected and no damages found (though damage could be present behind the large snow drifts covering some of the tents).
Additional, Samson visited the tent on Maynard (Satellite) Hill and reported that no damages were present to the equipment.
Goal 4: Assess the State of the Runway
Several images of the runway were taken and a discussion with the pilot (Steve) was had. Steve stated that the runway is in ‘good shape’ and that it should be fine for another few weeks of flights in (obviously weather dependent). He did state that there were several patches of deep snow that could cause problems for take off with large loads but that actually help for slowing the aircraft down on landing. No blockages due to fuel drums, or other materials existed.
The HMP Research Station Igloo
Samson wanted to report that he was the first person to build an igloo at HMP Research Station. With some help from Paul and Matt, it was completed just as the pickup flight came in.
The HMP RS Igloo