Early 2013: This was the first live trial for the Cerberus platform where we managed to verify in - situ what was mapped. The opportunity to do this was an astronaut analogue mission to the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) where BlackShore's director Hans van 't Woud assumed the role of crewmember.
While this two- week expedition was running the crowd was asked to map the immediate surroundings as if it were like Mars since this desert region in particular is geologically similar to Gale crater where NASA's curiosity rover is driving around. Geological results disovered by the Cerberus crowd were uploaed through a satellite link to be used to plan an EVA* into the desert to verrify the crowd's effort and Cerberus's accuracy.
The results were astonishing regarding Cerberus's mapping precision. The proof dat actually new discoveries can be done using satellite information and thus to detect location no man has ever visited before has huge implications for the system. Not only this expedition was interesting from a research and system point of view, but also this expedition was a high level effort of doing science communication. The crowd was realtime involved in a scientific mission which has never been done before in the face of the earth.
*EVA = extra vehicular activity
Crew 125 (Reuters/ Jim, Urquhart
The Mars Desert Research Station is investigating the feasibility of Mars human exploration.
Hans van 't Woud in Business Insider picture of the year 2013 (Reuters/ Jim Urquhart)