|Project Pegasus is the final authentic assessment for Gahanna Lincoln High School's Virtual Space Tech Class. Students participate in an on-line learning environment using Yahoo Groups, where they study the exploration of space.
Students study topics such as solar system history and geology, imaging systems, image processing, and robotics. As a final project/exam, they participate in a high-fidelity simulation of a rover exploring Mars.
The project consists of designing, building, testing, and then using a Mars Rover to explore a simulated Mars landing site. The Rover is built using LEGOs, using the LEGO RCX Bricks and LabView's RoboLab software for the control system. Students control the rovers at a simulated site via the Internet, using infrared signals from computer towers to communicate with the rovers.
The Rover must have the following components:
1) Transport System - some type of locomotive system which can drive the rover around the simulated Mars site.
2) PanCam - a wireless camera mounted on a rotating device which can take multiple views of the landing site to be "stitched" together to form panoramic views of that site.
3) MiniTES - a simulated thermal emission spectrometer made by using a LEGO light sensor. This probe returns light data from specially prepared "rocks" that will simulate various mineral spectrums from the real TES used on the Mars Rovers.
4) RAT (Rock Abrasion Tool) - Just like on the Mars Rovers, this tool scrapes off the outer layers of dust and rock in order to examine the uncontaminated inside of a rock specimen.
5) Communication System - a wireless communication system enabling remote control and data downloading via the Internet to remote sites that includes probes for measuring temperature, light,and humidity.