DAY 1 2 3
Notes from Day 2
Renowned crater expert Dr. Bevan French (Dept. of Mineral Sciences, Smithsonian Institution) presented information on what to look for at a meteoritic impact site.  Dr. French shared rock samples collected from craters around the world, and discussed characteristics typical of an impact site.  Pressure, heat, time, and melting processes are all factors in explaining typical rock deformations at an impact site.  Possible characteristics to look for at this particular impact site were discussed.  If the Iturralde structure is an impact site, it will be the first known and verified such site in soft sediment.  All other verified impact features are hard rock impact material.  Identifying protocols to verify a soft sediment impact would be a major benefit to future research..
Allen Lundsford, a technician in charge of building the miniature plane, designing the software to interface with satellite receivers and transmit back to both the field and home teams, and assembling the necessary onboard hardware, gave an informative brief on the concept of operation for the UAV (a 1/3-scale RC Piper Cub).  The RC airplane to be used is the largest model commercially available to fly.  The plane will be manually controlled for TO/L and convert to autopilot (with GPS guidance) when in flight.  Two such planes are to be shipped to Bolivia for the expedition, each outfitted with all necessary equipment including magnetometer, video, CPU, GPS, and uplink hardware.  Testing of a fully equipped plane is scheduled for early July.