A NASA rover called Perseverance landed on Mars in 2021 to collect soil samples and search for signs of ancient life.
Perseverance uses on board cameras to navigate safe paths through challenging terrain by autonomously re-planning routes around obstacles to reach its destination. Perseverance also has a suite of atmospheric sensors which regularly measure environmental conditions as well as a mechanical arm mounted with instrumentation to collect and analyze soil samples. A small helicopter called Ingenuity assists Perseverance by providing terrain data surveyed from above - Perseverance and Ingenuity may both operate as autonomous agents. While Ingenuity is equipped with solar panels, Perseverance instead carries a Radioisotope Thermometric Generator (RTG) which uses the heat from plutonium's natural radioactive decay to generate a reliable flow of electricity. Additionally, RTG heat keeps Perseverance's instruments at appropriate operating temperatures (despite the freezing martian climate).
Outline two fundamental features of autonomous agents and how, according to the above description, Perseverance exemplifies these characteristics.
Perseverance comprises a number of Transducers (sensors and actuators) which convert energy from one form to another.
Identify one type of sensor Perseverance would require in the scenario described and state its purpose.
Identify one type of actuator Perseverance would require in the scenario described and state its purpose.
With respect to its function as an autonomous agent in the search for signs of ancient life on Mars, outline two advantages Perseverance has over human astronauts.
In an emergency, mission control may send a special signal to Perseverance in order to immediately cease autonomous navigation and execute a risk mitigation routine.
State the name typically given to this type of special signal.
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