6. Level 1 Analysis (WIP)

The Level 1 competition only requires the rovers to leave the starting platform and proceed to a specific location to pick up a pre-cached sample. A sample presumably left by a previous mission to Mars or the Moon. This analysis works from the positioning of the sample in the 2013 SRR. It will be updated once the 2014 maps are released and the location of the sample becomes known.  

Time Analysis

The location given for the sample is the center of a 10 meter diameter area that is approximately 70 meters from the starting platform. The platform is facing toward the sample with the sample east and slightly south of the platform. The path to the sample is clear of obstacles although a lamppost is close to the path. The rovers have 30 minutes to collect the sample and return it to the platform. 

The travel time to the sample is short at only (70 m / 2 m/sec) 35 seconds assuming the rovers travel directly to the sample. It is possible that the starting platform in 2014 will not be facing the sample, which is what the rules specify. At most this would double the time. 

The area of the circle is (10 m / 2 * Pi * Pi) 49.3 m2. But for analysis, assume a square 10 m on the side which means an area of 100 m2 which can be searched in (100 m2 / 6 m / sec) 16 seconds, assuming a single rover is searching the area at 6 m / sec. (See Search Analysis). That does not allow for the time it takes for the rover to turn during the search, which will not add significantly to the time.

Based on this analysis the 30 minute time limit it is quite feasible to accomplish Phase 1.

Navigation

The navigation problem is much simplified in Level 1 as the location of the sample is known. 

The rovers need to leave the platform and determine the bearing to the white band shell. This provides a rough north / south line. (In the topographic map the starting platform positions are only a little off the north south line.)