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Issa A.D. Nesnas' Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 198-219
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
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Member of:
3471 Section Staff
Issa A.D. Nesnas
Member of Technical Staff
(Full description>>)

Biography (more>>)
Issa Nesnas is a principal technologist and the supervisor of the Robotic Mobility group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory with over two decades of research in space robotics and industrial automation. He leads research in autonomy and mobility with a focus on extreme terrain access and microgravity mobility.  He contributed to the development of autonomous rover navigation and visual target tracking and participated in the development of the Curiosity and Mars 2020 rovers.  Dr. Nesnas served on NASA’s Capability Leadership Team for Autonomy and was the co-chair for NASA’s Technology Roadmaps for Robotics and Autonomous Systems.  He holds several patents and has over fifty publications in this field. He holds a B.E. degree in Electrical Engineering from Manhattan College and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering with a specialization in robotics from the University of Notre Dame.

Education (more>>)
Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (1995) from the University of Notre Dame, IN

M.S. in Mechanical Engineering (1993) from the Univerity of Notre Dame, IN

B.E. in Electrical Engineering (1991) from Manhattan College, NY

Professional Experience (more>>)
  • Over two decades of research and development in robotics and vision-based control, of which:
  • 20 years at JPL in robotics and rover research for space exploration
  • 3 years in robotics for industrial applications
  • 5 years in academic robotic research
  • 17 years of management experience on small and large multi-center efforts
  • Awarded several competed NASA robotic proposals

Research Interests (more>>)
  • Software and hardware architectures for robotic systems
  • Autonomous sensor- and vision-based manipulation
  • Robotic mobility and control
  • High-speed vision-guided robotic operations
  • Object-oriented design and artificial intelligence

Selected Publications (more>>)

I.A. Nesnas, M. Bajracharya, R. Madison, E. Bandari, C.G. Kunz, M. Deans, M.G. Bualat, "Visual Target Tracking for Rover-based Planetary Exploration," Proceedings of the 2004 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, Montana, March 6-14, 2004.

I.A.D. Nesnas, R. Volpe, T. Estlin, H. Das, R. Petras D. Mutz, "Toward Developing Reusable Software Components for Robotic Applications," Proceedings of the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Maui Hawaii, November 2001.

R. Volpe, I.A.D. Nesnas, T. Estlin, D. Mutz, R. Petras, H. Das, "CLARAty: Coupled Layer Architecture for Robotic Autonomy," Technical Report D-19975, December 2000.

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