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Mobile Navigation Control for Planetary Web Portals
Sponsored by JPL
John Calilung, Miguel Martinez JR, Frank Navarrete, Kevin Parton, Max Ru, Catherine Suh
Advisor: Richard Cross, Elaine Kang
Project Description

The purpose of this project is to develop a mobile remote controller for JPL's Mars Trek and Vesta Trek. As stated on the official Mars Trek website, 'Mars Trek is a NASA web-based portal for exploration of Mars.' It provides an exciting way for students, citizen scientists, and the public to explore some of Mars’ most spectacular landforms as well as NASA areas of operation on Mars’ surface. Due to privacy constraints, the mobile controller, titled Trek Controller, will only allow exploration of a standalone site which mimics Mars Trek.

Trek Controller is implemented as both an iOS native app and a Web app so that users of all devices can explore Mars. There are three controller modes which use joystick controls, touch gestures, or motions that utilize the mobile device's gyroscope. Trek Controller also offers guest queueing for situations such as conferences or museum events where multiple users wish to use the controller. A user must enter a 4-digit code or scan a QR-code to enter the queue or, if there is no queue, to enter the default controller mode which uses touch gestures with the phone oriented upright (portrait).

Once in a controller mode, the user can easily switch between the three modes using the options on the menu bar at the bottom of the screen. To use the joysticks or gyroscope, the mobile device must be turned sideways (landscape). In all controller modes, the enabled movements are up, down, left, right, the diagonals between, zoom in and zoom out. There is also a toggle button to toggle the view of Mars between 2D and 3D as well as a reset button which will reset the view of Mars to its default center on the page.

Trek Controller also includes other features like Mars Fast Facts, Weight on Mars, and social media links. Mars Fast Facts includes information such as the temperature on Mars and number of days to a Mars year. Weight on Mars will prompt a user for a weight and convert it to what the weight would be on Mars. The social media links will take a user to JPL accounts of those social media avenues.

Additional features we had hoped to implement are Presenter Mode which would disable the guest queue and allow handing over control to particular users, Bookmarks of particularly interesting coordinates on Mars, and Screenshots saved to the mobile device of whatever view is currently on the screen.

Team Leads 

Project Lead - Miguel Martinez

Customer Liaison Lead - Catherine Suh

Documentation & Presentation Lead - Kevin Parton

Quality Assurance & User Experience Lead - Max Ru

iOS Architecture Lead - Frank Navarrete

Web Architecture Lead - John Calilung


Miguel Martinez -

Catherine Suh -

Kevin Parton -

Max Ru -

Frank Navarrete -

John Calilung -

SDD - Software Design Document - MNCPWP
SRD - Software Requirements Document - MNCPWP
Poster PPT
Poster PDF
Final Report
[Private Resource] Source Code
User Manual