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1213-EngineeringReport

Engineering Report
12/13/2014
Matteo Borri   Victor Luo

Last day here.  We cleaned house, refueled all the ATVs (they start much easier now, esp 3&4), and transferred knowledge to Crew 145.  Speaking of which, meet Matteo Borri from Italy.  Matteo is a jack-of-all-trades and skilled at everything from robotics to computers.  His research will involve quadcopters and Android operated rovers.  Welcome Matteo!


Matteo: Sorry I didn’t bring a hand pump.  Current plan is to get the drones running, then test the 

camera shooter, and maybe figure out how to save water. Possibly build a better voltmeter.We just got in. There's only 4 of us so schedule will be moved around. Will fix/replace pump ASAP. Want to figure out how to wash dishes without using water. Not much to say yet.


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Diesel:                  25%
Propane:              80%

Water:                 17.5/40in

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Engineering Epilogue
12/13/14
Victor Luo

I came in thinking I would do my technical research project, help out
a bit around the Hab, and cook & clean. But as the Crew Engineer and
a crew member at MDRS, I was motivated and able to do things that I
didn’t think I could have done. I’ve unclogged the toilet, trapped a
rat, fixed a broken water pump, and prototyped a fail-safe shut-off
switch for the water pump inside the Hab. And I think I played a
pretty decent journalist on the side. By the end of the experience, I
will also have a 2-3 minute video documenting our journey at MDRS.

Of course there’s the regular engineering maintenance tasks: checking
liquid levels, maintaining a safe level of water throughout the Hab,
monitoring the heating system, keeping the ATVs in working order, and
retrofitting the EVA spacesuits every now and then. I had seven EVAs
during the ten days in sim, which I suppose is an achievement in
itself. Even though I was playing a supporting role on these EVAs, it
was extremely rewarding to watch real geologists and specialists work
in the field.

Then on the technical side, I kept our internet alive and managed to
keep us out of the red for the most part. I want to believe the
internal network share that I created for the crew played a big part
in not only limited our network consumption, but collating and
archiving our combined learnings into one central knowledge database.
My proudest achievement is the 3D mapping and representation of both
the Hab and the GreenHab. I’ve made it possible for not only us, but
the entire world to be able to fly through our world as if they were
here. And it’s only the beginning. I will extend this research to
include video photogrammetry which will convert raw footage captured
by a quadcopter into a 3D point cloud. This will allow us to scout
out and map local and distant locations that may be unsafe for crew
members. The results will have various scientific and outreach
applications.

In the end, it’s the sum of the little things that make up the whole
experience. And there were a lot of little things that made up my
time here on Mars.

Crew 144 Engineer out.