Elaine Walker's Personal Journal - HMP 2004 Education and Public Outreach
July 29, 2004
Today the Hamilton Sundstrand team was ready to fit geologist and geochemist, John Parnell (University of Aberdeen), into the Hamilton Sundstrand Concept Spacesuit for Advanced Planetary Exploration. John was fitted with the wearable LCD monitor, and a mouse controller strapped around his forearm. David Rosenbush developed the software for the suit that is being tested this season. The software assumes that an assistant will be connected to the suit's occupant by radio, and through a network will be able to display information on the suit's display. This software attempts to minimize the usage of the network to allow other users maximum usage. Maps, manuals, and data tables could be displayed. It is even possible for the suit user to dictate notes and be able to see them to verify them. The software uses a GPS to record where and when the notes are dictated. John walked around outside at the NASA HMP base camp and provided feedback about his experience the suit. It is valuable to get the perspective of a real geologist inside of the suit.
The DAME (Drilling Automation for Mars Exploration) Project continued to run experiments at the impact breccia site and had a very productive day. Today, the extended shaft of the drill was vertically excited with a glued-on stinger, attached to a small shaker. This was done in order to characterize the frequencies and modes of movement along the vertical axis. As well, part of the NASA Ames automation software was integrated with the Honeybee Robotics control software. The team demonstrated the NASA Ames automation in control of the drill, doing simple up-down motions with the shaft. A year ahead of schedule, with the diagnostic and performance data needed for 2005 and 2006, the team then took down the site and packed the drill away at the NASA HMP base camp.
We had the most wonderful Indian dinner this evening, prepared by Sathya Hanagud (School of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology). Sathya had brought a variety of spices with him to Devon Island. Anyone who comes out here next season should be aware that Sathya has donated the remainder of his spices. We had two kinds of Indian stew, three types of wonderfully spiced rice dishes, chic peas with tomatoes and curry, and a mouthwatering spinach dish. I have been craving Indian food ever since I moved away from NYC. It was hard to believe we were in the High Canadian Arctic, eating such delicately spiced food.
JD Polk, MD (NASA JSC, Flight Surgeon, Lead for Heath Care Systems) gave a talk to us this evening on medical issues involving astonauts in spaceflight. Afterwards, we had another talk by John Parnell titled "Organic Signatures at Haughton".