NASA Planetary Lake Lander Project at Google Tech Talk
Nathalie Cabrol gave a Google Tech Talk about our Planetary Lake Lander Project project on Tuesday.
Titan is the only body in the solar system other than Earth that's known to have lakes on its surface--only in Titan's case it's not water but liquid methane and ethane at super-cold temperatures! NASA is studying the possibility of landing a floating probe in one of these lakes and our project uses a similar probe on Earth to learn how we will operate the one on Titan.
Nathalie, our principal investigator, is a distinguished planetary scientist, but also an amazing ball of energy who lights up everyone she gets near. This was a fun talk.
I'm leading the robotics part of the project. In past years we put the probe together, and now we're developing the adaptive science component that will allow the probe's onboard software to understand what its science sensors are measuring and react appropriately, like increasing the sampling rate during a storm. This is the most exciting phase of the project and hopefully we'll be able to build some great new tools to help the science team get better data.