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Mark Maimone's Picture
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Member of:
Robotic Mobility Group
Mark Maimone
Member of Technical Staff
(Short description>>)

Dr. Mark Maimone is a Navigation and Machine Vision researcher at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology. He designed and implemented the Autonomous Navigation flight software for the MER and MSL Mars Rover missions, and is currently a Rover Driver and flight software developer on the Curiosity operations team.
In 1989 he completed the International Space Universitys summer program. He earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Computer Science Department of Carnegie Mellon University in 1996, with a dissertation that addressed problems that have plagued stereo vision systems for decades. He was then a Post-doctoral Research Associate at Carnegie Mellons Robotics Institute, supervising the 1996 Lunar Rover field trials and serving as Navigation and Software Lead for the 1997 Atacama Desert Trek.
At JPL since 1997, Mark has worked on the Long Range Science Rover, Planetary Dexterous Manipulator, and Pioneer Vision System for Chornobyl Inspection projects, delivering 3D vision systems for autonomous robotic operations and mapping. Mark developed the autonomous vision and navigation software that lets the MER vehicles drive themselves safely, and wrote ground software that automated the analysis of Mobility and arm operations on Mars.
Mark is now part of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) FSW team, continuing to develop the autonomous vision and navigation software for the the Curiosity and Opportunity Mars Rovers.
His research interests include robotic navigational autonomy, stereo vision, and camera calibration.

Flight Project and Research Task Involvement

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

2015 NASA Group Achievement Award to MSL Prime Mission Science and Operations Team for exceptional technical innovations in rover surface operations leading to significantly improved Mars Science Laboratory prime mission performance and science return
2015 MSL R12 FSW and Transition Team Award, for the successful development, testing, upload and execution of the R12 Flight Software Load
2015 MSL Sol 911 Drill Chassis Short Anomaly Team Award, for the successful analysis, development, testing and recovery from the drill voice coil short anomaly
2015 MSL ChemCam Anomaly Response Team Award, for the successful analysis, development, testing and resolution of the ChemCam auto-focus and sun safety anomalies
2014 NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal for the development and deployment of autonomous surface navigation for the MSL rover, enabling traverses beyond the rovers line of sight on Mars
2013 NASA Software of the Year Award for Mars Science Laboratory Rover Flight Software
2007 NASA Space Act Major Award for Mars Exploration Rovers Flight Software
2007 NASA Space Act Standard Award for Autonomous Instrument Placement for the Mars Exploration Rover
2006 Mars Exploration Directorate Team Bonus Award for successful flight code development and validation of autonomy algorithms for the MER mission
2006 ASPRS John I Davidson Award for Practical Papers for Initial Results of Rover Localization and Topographic Mapping for the 2003 MER Mission
2006 NASA Space Act award, Visual Odometry Software for 6 DOF Attitude Estimation on Mobile Robots Using Stereo Cameras
2005 JPL Level A Award, for outstanding technical accomplishment in the design, development, and incorporation of code which compensates for slip while driving on sloped terrain on Mars into the Mars Exploration Rover flight software.
2004 NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal for Mars Exploration Rover Autonomous Surface Navigation System
1999 JPL Nova Award for Planetary Dexterous Manipulation work
1997 CMU Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence for Atacama Desert Trek field test

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