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Medium rover solar panels fall off with no warning or explanation
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When you drive a rover for a while, the solar panels seen to just fall off with no warning. It seems to always be the right panel first followed shortly by the left. There does not seem to be any warning of this in the log and even after they have fallen off, nothing appears in the log tab.

I assume this event is triggered after the rover has travelled for so long. I has happened on two of my rovers so far and only seems to happen on the medium sized rover.

I think that it needs to be more random and they shouldn't fall off after just travelling a certain distance.


Legacy ID
Steps To Reproduce

Travel for a while using the medium rover.

Event Timeline

Bigdave151985 set Category to category:bugs.
Bigdave151985 set Reproducibility to Always.
Bigdave151985 set Severity to None.
Bigdave151985 set Resolution to Duplicate.
Bigdave151985 set Legacy ID to 800214860.May 9 2016, 9:50 AM
FredyC added a subscriber: FredyC.May 9 2016, 9:50 AM
FredyC added a comment.Aug 7 2013, 3:07 PM

Have you checked the LOG tab for error messages ?

Yeah. Nothing appears in the fault log

Fabio added a subscriber: Fabio.May 9 2016, 9:50 AM
Fabio added a comment.Aug 7 2013, 9:59 PM

I can confirm this. In my tests, it's usually the left panel that falls off first, and then the right panel. It even happens on flat terrains, with no dunes or stones nearby. Most of the time, I can't even travel 50 meters before they start falling off. It's really easy to see this happen in the Rover Yard.

I don't think it should be an randon event or based on distance travelled. I guess they are suposed to be fragile, but they are meant to last at least one mission. I think they should only break if you are not careful enough and hit them in a rock.

I can also confirm the medium solar panels are quite touchy. I also found you can laser off your own solar panels via the ChemCam.

I have been driving around the test area for about an hour and the solar arrays are still holding even though I was trying pretty hard to break them somehow. I've actually broke off different instruments.

Can you please provide more insight into what exactly you were doing (driving across level surface, dunes, rocks etc) when the arrays came off as well as what other equipment you had on your rover?

MadDogX added a subscriber: MadDogX.May 9 2016, 9:50 AM

Could the physics simulation level play a role here?

Good point, will check.

I was driving around on fairly flat terrain for a long time and they fell off. I launched another medium rover and the same happened. It was in the Kaiser crater and was driving really carefully.

Okay, I have retested this with the highest physics simulation detail and it does seem that the panels fall off a little too easily. I keep losing one of the panels after driving over a tiny little rock that barely makes my rover bounce.

The radiation analysis device seems even more fragile than the solar arrays and breaks off sometimes for no apparent reason.

Lowering the physics simulation detail seems to improve the situation a great deal so I would recommend lowering it while we look into this.

Thank you for the reports everyone! Much appreciated!