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Gabriel  Udomkesmalee's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 198-219
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Member of:
3470 Section Management
Dr. Gabriel Udomkesmalee
Deputy Section Manager
(Short description>>)

Gabriel Udomkesmalee has spent most of his career with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, leading many technically and programmatically challenging projects. He is currently the Deputy Manager for the Mobility and Robotic Systems Section (347) of the Autonomous Systems Division (34), and has been the manager of the Mars Science Laboratory Technology Program since 2003. Earlier in his career at JPL that began in 1990, Dr. Udomkesmalee was a major contributor to the successful creation of the NASA New Millennium program, having revolutionized the image-based target-relative spacecraft guidance and pointing feature with his innovative autonomous feature and star tracking (AFAST) work. He also managed the celestial sensors and tracking group that delivered celestial sensors to Cassini, Mars Global Surveyor, and Mars Pathfinder projects as well as introducing cutting-edge CMOS detector and processing technologies enabling miniaturization of GNC sensors and automation of spacecraft operations. Additionally, Dr. Udomkesmalee directed the BMDO project (called VIGILANTE) that demonstrated a complex flight experiment testbed involving helicopter, cruise missile, ground communication/control equipment, vibration-isolation system, gimbaled mirror, IR/visible/UV sensors, and design/development of a tera-operations/second sugar-cube-sized processor. Capping a decade at JPL, Dr. Udomkesmalee successfully revived the JPL autonomous rendezvous and sample capture (RSC) activity, unified the team that included many government agencies and industry partners, and supported the NASA/CNES orbiter study that resulted in the NASA/CNES collaboration for demonstration of the RSC technology in Mars orbit.

During 2001-2003, Gabriel Udomkesmalee was a program director and the vice president of the American GNC Corporation providing technical leadership for a variety of activities ranging from advanced estimation/control/AI research to hardware/software system development involving inertial sensors and GPS. Dr. Udomkesmalees additional years of industry experience include the development of hardware/software systems for both military and commercial applications. At Perkin-Elmer (1986-1989), he was a project engineer for the design and development of advanced optical correlator-based seeker systems capable of performing rotation/scale invariant recognition/tracking of military vehicles in addition to being the control system analyst responsible for deriving missile navigation/tracking algorithms and modeling the overall missile system dynamics and its guidance system. At AiResearch Manufacturing Company (1983-1986), he successfully led the design and development of a new ECU architecture for a turbofan engine using multiple processors and hybrid circuits that eliminated massive wiring and numerous circuit boards. During 1981-1983, Gabriel was involved in the design/development of a PC-based simulation software package for control systems and the introduction of modern optimal control theory to controlling and regulating energy management systems.

Widely recognized as an expert in his areas of expertise, Dr. Udomkesmalee has authored over 40 publications (including 2 patents) and holds several advanced degrees in a wide range of disciplines. He received his Ph.D. degree in Systems Science (1985) from University of California, San Diego, and has extensive experience in line management, project management, systems engineering, and control systems design/analysis. His technical areas of expertise include spacecraft and missile guidance, electro-optic and electronic systems, optical processing, image processing, automatic target recognition and control systems.

Ph.D. in Systems Science (1985) from University of California, San Diego
M.S. in Engineering Sciences (1981) from University of California, San Diego
M.A. in Economics (1979) from North Carolina State University, Raleigh
B.A. in Chemistry (1978) from North Carolina State University, Raleigh
B.S. in Chemical Engineering (1978) from North Carolina State University, Raleigh
B.A. in Business Management (1978) from North Carolina State University, Raleigh

Deputy Section Manager, JPL Mobility and Robotics Systems, (2005-present)
Program Manager, JPL Mars Science Laboratory Technology Program, (2003-present)
Vice President, American GNC Corporation, (2002-2003)
Program Director, American GNC Corporation, (2001-2002)
Project Manager, JPL Viewing Imager/Gimbaled Instrumentation Lab and Artificial Neural Three-dimensional Experiment: VIGILANTE, (1996-2001)
Group Supervisor, JPL Tracking Sensors Group, (1995-1997)
Task Manager, JPL CRAF/Cassini Target Tracking and RTOP Autonomous Feature and Star Tracking, (1991-1995)
Consultant, JPL Optical Sciences Group, (1990-1991)
Project Engineer, Perkin-Elmer Corporation, (1986-1989)
Systems Engineer, AiResearch Manufacturing Company, (1986-1989)

Robotic hardware/software systems, computer vision, mobility/manipulation, and advanced control

JPL Bonus B Award, MSL Technology Program Management, 2004
JPL Technology and Applications Program Award, VIGILANTE, 2000
NASA Group Achievement Award, Cassini Program AACS Team, 1998
NASA Tech Brief Technical Innovation Award, 1998
Best Paper Award, AIAA/BMDO Technology Readiness Conference, 1997
NASA Tech Brief Technical Innovation Award, 1996
NASA Tech Brief Technical Innovation Award, 1993
California Community College Instructor Credential (Economics, Mathematics, & Chemistry), 1980
Research Assistantship, University of California, San Diego, 1979-1981

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