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HomeOff Topics › Curiosity Gets a 'Brain Transplant
08-13-2012 01:11 AM  6 years agoPost 1
GyroFreak

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Curiosity Gets a 'Brain Transplant'
This weekend the Mars rover has been getting what NASA calls a “brain transplant,” a new version of flight software that’s better suited for working on the surface of Mars, such as driving and using Curiosity’s powerful robotic arm and drill. It will also give the rover better image processing ability so it can avoid obstacles while driving as well as go on longer drives.

The software upgrade began the evening of August 10 and should be complete on August 13.

It’s a pretty big deal considering the remote update is happening from 350 million miles away and if something goes wrong it could mean the last contact anyone has with Curiosity.

Is this a good idea to do this so early. Hope somebody doesn't pull the plug during the update.
Use it as is for awhile before you screw with software updates, IMHO.
We all know even the best updates can go wrong

I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?

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08-14-2012 01:59 AM  6 years agoPost 2
RCHSF

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It's basicly worthless until it gets updated. The software installed now is only a flight and landing software so to speak. Right now it's paralyzed until it's gets it roving package loaded. Then it can transverse the lanscape and all that jaze.

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08-14-2012 05:51 AM  6 years agoPost 3
GyroFreak

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Your right. Tonight I found information on the two processors and how the memory is configured. Each has a read-only (but electricaly erasable) 256kb memory, which I hope is the basic bootstrap loader and basic antenna control so if something does crash the upload, the ROM will still be able to restart another reload. Also the two processors are identical but one is offline so it could maintain the last good operating system. I'll see if I can find the configuration on the memory again and post it here.
EDIT:
Computers: The two identical on-board rover computers, called "Rover Compute Element" (RCE), contain radiation hardened memory to tolerate the extreme radiation from space and to safeguard against power-off cycles. Each computer's memory includes 256 kB of EEPROM, 256 MB of DRAM, and 2 GB of flash memory.

Hope that EEPROM is well protected from accidental eraser.

I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?

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08-14-2012 02:44 PM  6 years agoPost 4
fla heli boy

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I wonder what's the purpose of having such low mem figures??

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08-14-2012 04:20 PM  6 years agoPost 5
Dr. Fibinotchi

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Sioux Falls SD

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hmm
In plc land the programs in even the really big stuff for ladder logic i deal with are normally very small. Depending on how its written can chande the size too. If its only 256 there must of been a large amount of headroom with the setup.

-Cody

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

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08-14-2012 04:35 PM  6 years agoPost 6
fla heli boy

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cool...and very interesting. Working with CADD, of course memory is king....

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08-14-2012 04:37 PM  6 years agoPost 7
GyroFreak

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If it's written in Assembly language, you can pack a lot of data acquisition and system control in a small memory. I wrote a program (many many years ago) on a pdp-8 (DEC) that reads data from instruments, controlled proportional valves, and ran a series of computations for printout, all in 4Kb (Days of core memory).
But when you get into higher languages like C, if the programmers aren't memory constraint aware, the programs can get way out of hand. Take windows and look how drivers alone have ballooned in size. A printer driver can be 50 Mb alone, hell, my first hard drive was only 10 Mb.
Anybody who programs PICs in assembly language these days can appreciate small memory.
EDIT:
Graphics and image storage can eat up memory like a hungry bear. Guess that's what the 2 Gb flash is for ??

I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?

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08-14-2012 04:46 PM  6 years agoPost 8
fla heli boy

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that's what caught my eye. 2Gb is tiny.

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08-14-2012 05:20 PM  6 years agoPost 9
GyroFreak

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Hey guys (and any dolls listening), at 1 PM (EDT) today (Aug 14) NASA will have a live teleconference on Curiousty and we can listen in.
Here is the link.
http://www.nasa.gov/news/media/newsaudio/index.html

I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?

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08-14-2012 07:05 PM  6 years agoPost 10
cbflys

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I believe that the images are actually stored in the camera(s) and then transferred to the computer for downlink to earth.

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08-14-2012 07:21 PM  6 years agoPost 11
GyroFreak

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I believe that the images are actually stored in the camera(s) and then transferred to the computer for downlink to earth.
That would make perfect sense.
Paul

I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?

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08-15-2012 10:33 PM  6 years agoPost 12
FireNWater

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Collierville, TN

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.
Hopefully they are installing some anti-virus software as well. Apparently some of the "Anonymous" gang are sniffing around trying to get access to the comm protocols for the lander.
.
I could imagine some pimply-faced jerk running it off a cliff for fun . . .
.

Buy Cheap, Buy Twice . . .

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08-15-2012 11:02 PM  6 years agoPost 13
rcjon

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I guess the extra weight of a 32 gb thumb drive to carry the new software along was just too much.

Ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for Radio Control Helicoptering.

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08-15-2012 11:22 PM  6 years agoPost 14
fla heli boy

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08-16-2012 02:51 AM  6 years agoPost 15
RCHSF

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NC

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If a person was going down the road to the beach say at 15,000 miles per hour with the kids in the back seat crying, the last thing we would need is a cell phone going off, and the radio blaring wide open at the same time the left front tire blows out.

They keep it simple, because one to many things going on at the same time could be a disaster wating to happen. Possibly various programming functions could get corrupt or intermingled. That would be game over. One task at a time on a trip like this.

Program Flight & Land.
Reprogram for the rest.

Once your on the ground, you wont need the flight and landing software package anymore.

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08-17-2012 02:48 AM  6 years agoPost 16
Gary Jenkins

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Hopefully Microsoft didn't write it. Nothing like the blue screen of death.

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