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Kathy's Rover Diary Day 1 2 3

Day One

We're all after water ... Ellen and Ian finding it, me and Mike B purifying it, Jonathan perhaps finding it with a Mars Rover.

Mike B and I decide to separate the tasks - I need to boil the water for at least ten minutes to kill all the bugs, and he will filter it. Of course, I could simply throw it on a fire in a tin but I'd probably lose too much by evaporation, get junk in it from the fire, and I wouldn’t be able to see when it began to boil anyway. The sun's so intense here - I must be able to use its energy to boil water.

Ellen and Jonathan boiled water in Series 2 in Cariacou, so I could just use a parabolic mirror. But they take a lot of time to make and they just focus the light onto one point. I decided to try a funnel-shaped mirror, so that the light is focused all along the length of a whole jar with water in it, so the heating effect is spread out more.

Given we have the tin foil, it's relatively straightforward to focus light. I managed to build a funnel, find some jars with decent seals and spray them black so they'll absorb energy well. I had a go at getting them hot in the sun too. Not quite sure they'll boil water though. Played around with a few different shapes of funnel, too.



Kathy with her solar still
Scientists Diaries

Water or wheels? How did the other members of the Rough Science team cope with the first challenge? Read their diaries to find out: