INCOSE Los Angeles: Pushing the Boundaries of Autonomous Robotic Exploration of Planetary Bodies

El Segundo, CA , USA
200 N Aviation Blvd

Meeting Title: Pushing the Boundaries of Autonomous Robotic Exploration of Planetary Bodies
Presenter Name:  Issa A.D. Nesnas, Ph.D.
Date: Tuesday, 14 May 2024
Time: 17:30 - 19:30 PDT
Venue: Online via Zoom; In person: The Aerospace Corp. D8/1010, 200 N Aviation Blvd, El Segundo, CA 90245



Over the past two decades, several autonomous functions and system-level capabilities have successfully been demonstrated and used in deep-space operations. In spite of that, spacecraft today remain largely reliant on ground in the loop to assess situations and plan next actions, using pre-scripted command sequences. Advances have been made across mission phases including spacecraft navigation; proximity operations; entry, descent, and landing; surface mobility and manipulation; and data handling. But past practices may not be sustainable for future exploration. The ability of ground operators to predict the outcome of their plans seriously diminishes when platforms physically interact with planetary bodies, as has been experienced in two decades of Mars surface operations. This results from uncertainties that arise due to limited knowledge, complex physical interaction with the environment, and limitations of associated models. 

In this talk, Dr. Nesnas will share advances in the architecture, development, and deployment of autonomous systems for space applications, highlighting recent advances in entry descent and landing, rover navigation, and extreme terrain mobility. He will also describe progress toward future architecting of autonomous system and summarize anticipated needs based on recommendations from the Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey.This event will be held at The Aerospace Corp. in El Segundo - refreshments provided, and online via Zoom, you can join us from anywhere. No charge. 



Dr. Issa Nesnas is a principal robotics technologist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and associate director at Caltech’s Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies. He is also the JPL lead on NASA’s Autonomous Systems Capability Leadership Team. Issa served as the supervisor for the Robotic Mobility Group, which led the development of the autonomous surface navigation for the Perseverance rover. He led research in architecting autonomous systems as well as in-space navigation for approaching small bodies. His other research interests include extreme terrain and microgravity mobility. Issa holds degrees in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering with a Ph.D. specialized in robotics from the University of Notre Dame.

Contact Us