Preparations for the Field Test

Field testing is all about preparation, prior testing, and forseen possible failures. Failing to follow these steps will certainly cause alot of wasted time, effort, money (transportation fuel, admission fees, cost of lunch, etc).


@ To be done by Roger and Amory

Before Packing up for the Field Test

  • make sure the goal of the test is clear for every one involved. The goal will determine which materials must be carried to the testing field, the time required for settiing up the boat, etc. Example of goals: take images of obstacles, test visual odometry, take gps and imu readings, take water samples, use the water probes, perform a bathymetry survey, etc.
  • prepare a check list of materials to carry on the field test. You will waste the entire effort if, for instance, you forget to carry the laptop power adaptor, power extension cord, etc.
  • setup the boat according to the mission of the field test
  • test the boat on the lab and outside the lab. for instance, in the campus
  • check the weather forecast one day before the planned date. Dont waste your time if there is a slightly chance of rain and wind. In addition, you will put the Lab`s resources at risk.
  • one day before, let all the baterries been carried
  • you will need a NF to carry the resources out of the campus

Packing up for the test

  • use appropriate boxes to carry the materials. cardboard boxes will probably not survive the handling and you might loose materials due to wholes on the boxes.
  • separate the materials according to its costs, and/or fragility. Those materials you dont want to place them under other heavy materials.
  • use your checklist
  • for heavy or big materials, you could you LSA`s cart localted in the 3rd floor of P32.
  • dont forget to carry protective materials againts mosquitos, sun burn, etc. Use appropriate shoes (they might get wet), and light clothes (you are going to sweet carrying all the materials)
  • check the battery of everything: laptops, eletronics, etc

On the test field

  • first choose an appropriate place with the following caracteristics: protected from the sun, not so many people passing around, etc
  • make sure you have a backup plan to rescue the boats, like a kaiak, a swimmer (use life jacket or any buoyancy device!)
  • setup the power cord and the battery chargers
  • check the GPS reception
  • double check the batteries
  • setup the wifi and any other RF communication system (antennas, signal boosters)
  • setup the external access to the boat using the laptops
  • test the boats on the margins
  • place at the margin an drive around for about 5 min. If you are confident of it, start the planned test

Good luck !