Second Experiments in the Robotic Investigation of Life in the Atacama Desert of Chile

David Wettergreen, Nathalie Cabrol, Vijayakumar Baskaran, Francisco Calderon, Stuart Heys, Dominic Jonak, Rolf Allan Luders, David Pane, Trey Smith, James Teza, Paul Tompkins, Daniel Villa, Chris Williams, and Michael D. Wagner
8th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space, September, 2005.


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Abstract
The Atacama Desert of northern Chile may be the most lifeless place on Earth, yet microorganisms do survive in some areas. The distribution and diversity of life in the Atacama remains unexplored and is the focus of the Life in the Atacama project. To conduct this investigation, survey traverses across the desert with biologic and geologic instruments will allow us to create biogeographic maps. We accomplish these surveys with an autonomous astrobiology rover. In this paper we motivate the Life in the Atacama project and report on the second of three field seasons of scientific investigation and technical experiments in Chile. We describe the rover, instruments, algorithms and assess intermediate results. These results provide insight into the design of an effective robotic astrobiologist for future planetary investigations and into the best methods to conduct astrobiologic surveys.

Keywords
Robotic astrobiology, space robotics

Notes
Sponsor: NASA
Grant ID: NAG5-12890
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Field Robotics Center
Associated Project(s): Life in the Atacama
Number of pages: 8

Text Reference
David Wettergreen, Nathalie Cabrol, Vijayakumar Baskaran, Francisco Calderon, Stuart Heys, Dominic Jonak, Rolf Allan Luders, David Pane, Trey Smith, James Teza, Paul Tompkins, Daniel Villa, Chris Williams, and Michael D. Wagner, "Second Experiments in the Robotic Investigation of Life in the Atacama Desert of Chile," 8th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space, September, 2005.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Wettergreen_2005_5128,
   author = "David Wettergreen and Nathalie Cabrol and Vijayakumar Baskaran and Francisco Calderon and Stuart Heys and Dominic Jonak and Rolf Allan Luders and David Pane and Trey Smith and James Teza and Paul Tompkins and Daniel Villa and Chris Williams and Michael D Wagner",
   title = "Second Experiments in the Robotic Investigation of Life in the Atacama Desert of Chile",
   booktitle = "8th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space",
   month = "September",
   year = "2005",
}