Saturday, May 1, 2010

Packing Up

As you can see from the pictures, the time has come to pack up the SnoMote and all of our test equipment for transport to Alaska. The front suspension has been disassembled, which makes the SnoMote shorter for packing and shipping, as well as prevents damage to the skis and steering linkages. The SnoMote chassis is then wrapped and packed for the long plane ride.

Next, we must deal with all of our test equipment. Despite the fact that the robot can drive by itself, we still need a vast array gear for our field tests. A large portion of this is for contingencies. Extra sensors, cameras, and computers are all included. If something were to break while on the glacier, we don't want to have to end the day's testing. Some care has been spent on the placement and accessibility of electronic components, and most can be replaced in the field.

In anticipation of this trip, I've been watching the weather in Anchorage. Either rain or snow was forecasted for basically every day in April. However, the first week of May is scheduled for some sunshine. So hopefully the weather will cooperate. As it stands, the highs should be in the 50's, with lows in the 30's. This is for downtown Anchorage however, and the temperatures around the glacier are significantly cooler. A talk with the park service indicated there was still plenty of snow on the ground, and that snow shoes will be required. They also informed me that this time of year was avalanche season. Field trials are always an adventure.


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