Follow this link to skip to the main content
  NASA Logo
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
California Institute of Technology
+ View the NASA Portal
Search JPL
JPL Home Earth Solar System Stars and Galaxies Technology
JPL Robotics
Search Robotics
Home Page
Image Gallery
Video Gallery
Personal Page Publications Image Gallery Videos
Julie Anne Townsend's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 82-105
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
Click here
Member of:
Robot Operations Group
Julie Anne Townsend
Robotics Systems Engineer
(Short description>>)

Julie Townsend joined JPL in 2001 to work on the Mars Exploration Rovers, first in development, integration, and test and later as a cruise operator, and surface uplink lead. She is now a Rover Planner, creating command sequences to drive the rovers and move their robotic arms on Mars.
In 2004, Julie transferred to robotic technology development where she contributes to a variety of tasks, in systems engineering, testing, software development, and mechanical design. Her work includes the multi-limbed LEMUR-II and ATHLETE robots, testing and calibration of the robotic arm for MSL, and mechanical packaging of cameras for use on boats.

Ph.D. (in progress) Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University
Research Area: Robot Mobility and Control
Research Advisor: Prof. Steven Rock
M.S. (2000) Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University
S.B. (1998) Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Minor: Biomedical Engineering

ATHLETE Prototype Lunar Rover 2005-
- System Test Lead
§ Test rover capabilities and evaluate performance
§ Develop operational procedures and sequences
§ Plan and execute testing at field locations
MER Development and Operations 2001-
- Surface Operations Team: Rover Planner
§ Assess terrain, create Rover drive plans and implement command sequences
§ Plan and implement command sequences for instrument placement using robotic arm
- Surface Operations Team: Tactical Uplink Lead
§ Provide communication interface between engineering and science operations teams
§ Coordinate synthesis of operations plan and creation of sequences for each command upload
§ Design master and submaster sequence structure for each command upload
§ Facilitate approval of operations plan and command upload files
- Cruise Operations Team: Activity Lead
§ Design, validate, and execute spacecraft flight procedures
§ Create and validate command files for flight vehicle
- Development, Integration, and Test Team: Fault Protection Developer and Avionics Systems Engineer
§ Design Fault Protection algorithms
§ Verify functionality in system testbed
§ Verify functionality on flight vehicle
§ Coordinate Onboard and on-ground telemetry conversion
§ Analyze Flight data
360-degree Camerahead 2009
- Mechanical Design
§ Design watertight packaging for cameras and support equipment.
Mars Science Laboratory 2008-2009
- Flight System Systems Engineer: Robotic Arm
§ Review and modify heritage RA software algorithms
§ Define and document RA functional design, command set, and telemetry set.
§ Plan and execute calibration and functional validation of robotic arm
Robotic Technology Development 2005-
Systems engineering and software development. Specific projects include:
§ LEMUR-IIa In-Space Assembly (2005) - camera calibration, SW development, and demo coordination
§ AWIMR (2005) - software development and demo coordination
§ DARE (2004) - microprocessor software development (TI-MSC1211)
§ Robot Construction Crew (2004) - software modification for handling large wall panels

Flight Project and Research Task Involvement

Flight Projects:
2011 - Mars Science Laboratory
2003 - Mars Exploration Rover

Research Tasks:
ATHLETE: Rough and Steep Terrain Lunar Surface Mobility
Automated Assembly and Reconfiguration of Future Large-Scale Space Systems
AWIMR: Autonomous Walking Inspection and Maintenance Robot
DARE: Distributed & Re-Taskable Electronics
In Space Robotic Assembly and Maintenance

NASA Group Award: MER Avionics Team (2004)
NASA Group Award: MER Surface Operations Team (2004)
NASA Group Award: ATHLETE Development Team (2006)
NASA Group Award: MER 3rd and 4th Extended Mission Team (2008)

Privacy/Copyright Image Policy Glossary Sitemap Feedback Contact Us
  National Aeronautics and Space Administration website.