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Mars and Me

Spirit Sol 607

17 Sep 2010, 20:46 UTC
Spirit Sol 607
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The scientists are happier than I am. In and of itself, that's an okay state of affairs; I'd rather have it that way than the reverse.The scientists are happy because they have a nice scuff to play with. I'm unhappy because the scuff isn't where it was supposed to be. It's on the wrong side of the dune -- the far side, not the near side. This is an error of maybe half a meter; we should have been a lot more precise than that.Chris works out what happened. In the main drive sequence (the "backbone," as we call it), we had several clauses that were intended to help us execute the drive more precisely. They checked if we were close to our defined target, and if not, they commanded a short step in its direction.The problem arose because of our obstacle-check helper. For that part of the drive, we were running the helper explicitly as needed (as opposed to just letting it execute in the background) because the same "variable" that it uses to check whether we're too close to each obstacle is also used to check whether we're close enough to a goal. We wanted to be sure ...

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