Originally posted by raiders247
..What is the point of attaching low res anything on a multi billion dollar craft....
It's a rover...it can move. It has a hi-res camera on a movable mast and another hi-res camera on a movable arm. Those two cameras can take hi-res
images of whatever they want to that hi res images of.
Why in the world would you need you other cameras to be hi-res -- especially your hazard-avoidance cameras (at least some of which are fish-eyed
lenses, anyway)? Do you need hi-res images of the rocks next to the rover in order to avoid hitting them? I think low-res is enough to avoid a rock.
If one of the rocks looks interesting, then use the one of other high-res cameras to take a picture of them. I mean, that's why the rover and the
High-res cameras can move in the first place -- to look at what you want to look at.
Plus, right now, the rover has 8 GB flash memory. If you make all 17 cameras hi-res, then you probably need to at least quadruple the amount of
on-board memory (and I think that is even conservative) . Extra memory (and the extra-hi-res cameras) would require additional power requirements,
and a larger power plant. That larger power plant, additional on-board memory, and larger cameras would add weight to the craft.
Additionally, photo upload times would be greater due the limited bandwidth between earth and mars, so waiting for high resolution images to download
will make driving the rover excruciatingly slow. Due to the 14-minute speed-of-light delay between earth and mars, controlling the rover is already a
slow process, and waiting for hi-res hazard avoidance pictures to download would make it even slower.
I suppose you could argue that the HazCams could be switchable between high and low resolution, to speed up the hazard avoidance issue with driving
it, and to reduce the need for additional on-board memory and additional power...
...but that brings us full circle to the original issue, which is this: when would you EVER need the HazCam images to be high-resolution, so why
would you even bother making those cameras high-resolution in the first place?
That's just complete waste of spacecraft weight (which quickly adds up to HUGE amounts of money), and you get ZERO scientific return out of it. Or
worse yet, the extra weight of the power plant needs to be offset elsewhere, so they decide to delete one of the other science instruments on board
(besides the cameras, there are 8 other scientific instruments on the rover), which now results in a net loss of science returns.